Modi is corruption, hope BJP learnt lessons from Karnataka: Rahul Gandhi

Five key-points that emerged from Congress President’s Press Conference

New Delhi: In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa ahead of the trust vote, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday termed him corruption and that Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and the RSS considered no institution worthy of respect.

Addressing the media here shortly after Yeddyurappa's resignation, he said the Congress will work with other opposition parties to defeat the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Gandhi said Modi's model of leadership is not that of democratic person but that of a dictator and even Supreme Court knows that.

Accusing Modi of promoting corruption in Karnataka to gain support for the BJP, which had emerged the single-largest party amid split verdict in by the May 12 assembly election, he cited attempts at horse-trading, including purported telephonic conversations of some BJP leaders to get support of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators, who formed a post-poll coalition.

People saw how the Prime Minister authorised directly buying MLAs in Karnataka from our party and from the JD-S, he said, adding Modi's talks of fighting corruption are a blatant lie.

He is corruption. He is doing everything to subvert this nation and he is doing it across the board. There are phone conversations of MLAs being approached for purchase by the BJP and that was directly authorised from Delhi, he said.

He alleged that RSS, the BJP's ideological patron, wants to capture every institution and that is what we are fighting and will work with the opposition to defeat the BJP.

He hoped that the BJP and RSS will learn a lesson from the developments in Karnataka where Governor Vajubhai Vala had invited the BJP to form government, that the institutions of this country, the will of the people of this country cannot be disrespected.

The Congress had moved the Supreme Court following th3e Governor inviting Yeddyurappa to form government and giving him 15 days to prove majority. The apex court had slashed the time for trust vote and fixed it for Saturday.

Contending that the Prime Minister is not bigger than people of India, the Supreme Court or members of parliament and assemblies, Gandhi said: I am doubtful that Prime Minister will understand that because he had been trained throughout his life by the RSS never to respect another institution except the RSS. But that is the message that people of Karnataka and the people of India have given to the Prime Minister.

I am very proud to say that they have been shown that in India, power is not everything, money is not everything, corruption is not everything. In India, the will of the people is everything. We have explained to the people in the BJP and the RSS that there are limits to your arrogance, there are limits to how you are trying to run this country, he said.

Accusing Modi, Amit Shah and RSS of believing that every institution can be destroyed, he said:

You can disrespect anybody in this country simply because you happen to be in power? And the BJP and the RSS does it again and again. That there is no institution in this country that is worthy of the respect of the Prime Minister, Amit Shah and the RSS.

He also accused the BJP of disrespecting the proceedings of the Karnataka Assembly, saying the national anthem was not played after Yeddyurappa announced his resignation and the BJP legislators and the Pro-tem Speaker left the house. In a way, this is what we are fighting today... The idea that you can rubbish every single institution in this country.

Asked if the state Governor should resign, Gandhi said the power was completely controlled by the Prime Minister and the RSS. So, it is a good idea to resign, but I can guarantee you that, under the BJP regime, the next man will do exactly the same thing, he said.


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Kumaraswamy invited to form government in Karnataka, oath-taking on Monday

" I have decided to form the JD-S-Congress government on May 21 by taking oath at 11 a.m. in the Kanteerva stadium, added Kumaraswamy"

Bengaluru: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala on Saturday invited Janata-Dal-Secular's legislative party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy to form the next government in the state, following the resignation of BJP's B.S. Yeddyurappa ahead of his trust vote.

The Governor has invited me to form the next government as the leader of the JD-S legislative party with the support of the Congress, which is our alliance partner, Kumaraswamy told reporters at the Raj Bhavan after the meeting.

The JD-S leader also said the Governor had given him 15 days to prove that he had majority in the 224-member legislative assembly, whose strength is currently 222.

I have decide to form the JD-S-Congress government on May 21 by taking oath at 11 a.m. in the Kanteerva stadium, added Kumaraswamy.


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Amarinder Singh seeks Karnataka Governor’s resignation

Punjab govt to launch mobile app for public services

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday demanded the immediate resignation of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala in view of the latest political developments in the southern state.

The events of the day have thoroughly exposed the dirty nexus between the (BJP) party and the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, who had violated all norms of Constitutional decorum and democratic principles to sub-serve the interests of his political masters.

The Governor should immediately step down on ethical grounds in view of the developments in the assembly. Vala, a RSS functionary was clearly working at the behest of the BJP leadership, had lost all moral right to continue in office. The august office of the Governor had been maligned and denigrated by Vala and the Supreme Court should order his dismissal if he fails to resign, he said in a statement.

Hailing the developments in Karnataka Assembly as a vindication of the Congress party's moral and political stand and a total loss of face for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amarinder Singh said that the BJP had stooped to new lows of political impropriety in its desperation to grab power in the state by hook or by crook.

Reacting to the resignation of B.S. Yeddyurappa ahead of the crucial floor test, he said Indian democracy had been saved from total desecration at the hands of the power-hungry BJP. He said that the Supreme Court had come to the rescue to uphold the Constitution of the country.


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Ramadan ceasefire In Kashmir meaningless if media war continues

I have never seen the electronic media so totally defiant of the BJP government. Home Minister Rajnath Singh's avowed intention to calm Kashmir by announcing a Ramadan ceasefire appears to have been dismissed as appeasement of Pakistan and terrorists.

A guest peering out of one of the six windows on the TV screen was frothing in the mouth. Murderers of our brave jawans are being shamelessly appeased. The other went one better: A brave nation does what the Sri Lankan army did to the LTTE - just finished them off. The anchor on this Aaj Tak show Thursday evening looked angrier than both. This apparently is common fare.

The Communist Party of India is receiving signals from its Kashmir unit that it may have to rename itself. The 'I' in the CPI has been hurting the state unit for quite some time. But after the recent surge in shootings, stone pelting, encounters, sustained images of wailing women, trailing the spate of funerals, and relentless media jingoism, the I now invites physical danger. True, a defunct party by any name will remain defunct, but even so, Communist Party of Kashmir (CPK) will at least not incur the wrath of the street.

The relative Ramadan peace is a good occasion to take stock. Even in days of drift in Kashmir during the time of P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, there was a semblance of political control by the National Conference and the PDP. Elements of the Hurriyat had fingers on the street pulse. The scene recently has been anarchic: there was no control.

Recent increase in violence was described by reliable sources as indigenous which is not what officials say. A narrative which discounts outside meddling is not honeyed music to the establishment. Nor to that shrill panel - on Aaj Tak. Ironical, isn't it, that the absence of outside support to the insurgency disturbs us?

Just when Kashmir was at fever pitch, the mayhem in Aligarh Muslim University erupted around the photograph of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Friends are in error if they consider the undiluted hooliganism on view in Aligarh an occasion to engage in a serious debate on Jinnah's culpability in partitioning the country. The hoodlums of Aligarh were not busting their guts to have Jinnah's portrait removed from the AMU union office. Quite the contrary. Hindu Yuva Vahini would love to provoke Aligarh hotheads to dig their heels in to preserve Jinnah in the university precincts. This will be the ammunition which can come in handy at all times. The campus will be the ordnance depot for frequent explosions in the service of the projected Hindu Rashtra.

This is not the first time in recent decades that AMU has been exploited for saffron politics. Ever since Prime Minister V.P. Singh aggravated identity politics by implementing the Mandal Committee report providing reservation in government jobs to lower castes, the BJP has rushed to prevent the caste structure from crumbling. Hindu consolidation, by building up the Muslim ogre, has been the obvious strategy.

Aligarh was frequently the target as part of this strategy. There was no Arnab Goswami in the 90s but Hindi newspapers played a lead role in widening the Hindu-Muslim divide.

A story appears in newspapers that, after horrendous riots in Aligarh city, some of the injured Hindus being taken to the University Medical College for treatment are being killed by Muslim doctors and interns. Even though the university is only three hours drive from New Delhi, newspapers choose to rely on unverified agency copy which, in turn, quotes upper caste Hindi newspapers.

An incredible scene is being enacted on the outskirts of the university. Local scribes seated on chairs arranged in a circle under a mango tree, sip tea even as one Krishna Kumar Navman, BJP MLA from Aligarh, holds them in his thrall with graphic accounts of murders in the hospital.

Has anyone visited the Medical College? I ask. They had not, they say, because it is risky.

At the medical college the picture is surreal: petrified doctors encircle me. No one has come to us for clarification, they complain.

Why have they not reached out to the journalists with their story? After a long, pregnant silence, they speak up. They thought it would be dangerous stepping out of the campus in the midst of communal violence. This is what I call uninstitutionalized apartheid.

That was 30 years ago when there were no TV channels to inculcate saffron nationalism on the scale I saw the other day and which I have mentioned above.

Folks overtly agitated or elated at the turn of events in Aligarh may find it sobering that Pakistan's Jinnah is not the only leader around whom communal polarization can be contrived. Ram Navami processionists in Kankinara, 24 Parganas in West Bengal, were so overpowered by the spirit of Rama that they pulled down the statue of Congress President and India's first Education Minister, Maulana Azad - a person, who in his outlook was exactly the opposite of Jinnah. This was in preparation for the Panchayat elections currently in the news.

Protection to anti-namaz lumpens in Gurugram, or those who pasted a Maharana Pratap Road placard on Akbar Road (the placard was removed the next morning), Modi clenching his fist at Tipu Sultan during the recent campaign, are minor episodes in an epic of hatred being manufactured for 2019 of course, and beyond if need be. In this gameplan there is no real, long-term respite for Kashmiris, Muslims or Indo-Pakistan peaceniks. Alongside, the rage of the Dalits and tribals is spiraling out of control. There is an element of simulation in anti-Muslimism for political reasons but the retribution faced by Dalits and tribals in the countryside is visceral.

(A senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on [email protected])


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Karnataka trust vote: SC says Bopaiah to stay pro tem speaker

New Delhi: Disposing off an application by the Congress and the JD-S questioning Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to appoint K.G. Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker in the assembly, the Supreme Court on Saturday said he will remain the interim speaker and there will be a live telecast of the assembly proceedings at 4 p.m. when Chief Miniser B.S. Yeddyurappa takes a floor test.

The court also noted that several regional channels will be provided with live feeds for the telecast.


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Polling for Jayanagar seat in Karnataka on June 11

Repolling at three booths in two Karnataka Assembly segments on Monday

Bengaluru: Polling in south Bengaluru's Jayanagar Assembly seat, which was countermanded due to the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar, will be held on June 11, the Election Commission said on Thursday.

Polling will be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Counting will be held on June 13, an EC statement said here.

The election to the seat was countermanded on May 4 following Vijaya Kumar's death.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has to get its new candidate to file his/her nomination before May 25, which will be scrutinised on May 26. The last date to withdraw nomination is May 28.

Polling in southwest Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat was postponed to May 28 following detection of 9,564 voter ID cards in a flat in the constituency. Votes will be counted in this segment on May 31.


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Top Gurugram hospitals flouting rules, inspection reveals

Gurugram: A committee of the Haryana Assembly on Thursday inspected the super-specialty Medanta-The Medicity, Artemis and Fortis hospitals here and found that they were not treating a given number of poor patients for free, as per the government's guidelines.

The Subject Committee on education, technical education, vocational education, medical education and health services is headed by Umesh Aggarwal, the MLA from Gurugram. It has eight other legislators representing different constituencies of Haryana and three MLAs as special invitees.

Aggarwal was present during the inspection besides MLAs Karan Singh Dalal, Kuldeep Sharma, Om Prakash Yadav, Ramchand Kamboj, Jasbir Deswal and Nasim Ahmad.

After inspection of Medanta-The Medicity, Aggarwal told the media that the committee is on a two-day visit from Thursday.

He said many complaints were received about big hospitals not treating the poor properly and also charging them.

Aggarwal said: After inspection, it seems that these hospitals were not treating patients from Below Poverty Line category or Economically Weaker Sections in sufficient numbers.

Palwal MLA Karan Singh Dalal said foreigners and the rich were being treated in these private hospitals in the name of health services while poor families were being ignored.

Aggarwal said the committee has sought a record from these hospitals of having treated patients from poor families, adding the committee will decide on further action after analysing the record.

Earlier, during a meeting of the committee, Gurugram Civil Surgeon B.K. Rajaura said when the state government allotted land to these hospitals on subsidised rates, an agreement was reached that 20 per cent of the patients coming to the OPD of the hospitals will be provided free treatment.

The agreement was also to treat 10 per cent of the admitted patients free of cost.


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Trinamool looks to sweep Bengal Panchayat polls, BJP in second spot

Trinamool looks to sweep Bengal Panchayat polls, BJP in second spot

Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday looked set for a resounding victory crushing all opposition parties in rural West Bengal, after nearly 11 hours of the vote count in the three-tier state Panchayat election, with the BJP emerging a distant second in almost all the districts.

The Left Front, which ruled the state for 34 years till 2011, lay decimated in the third position, while the Congress was virtually wiped out in Monday's polls, which were marred by widespread violence and allegations of strong-arm tactics and irregularities against the Trinamool.

As per latest reports, the Trinamool had won or was in the lead in over 80 per cent of the lowest tier Gram Panchayat seats, and over 90 per cent of the middle level Panchayat Samiti seats. In the top tier, Zilla Parishad, the Trinamool almost wiped out the opposition.

According to the latest figures, Trinamool has won in 20 out of 825 Zilla Parishad seats and is comfortably leading in another 22, while the opposition parties drew a blank.

The state's ruling party also has won or was ahead of its rivals in 570 Panchayat Samiti seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left Front have won or were leading in 24 and seven seats, respectively.

In the vote count for the Gram Panchayat, the Trinamool has already won or was leading in 16,166 seats, leaving the BJP far behind at 4,020 and the LF at 1,142.

The BJP, however, gave a tough fight to the Trinamool in two western districts -- Purulia and Jhargram.

Another interesting development was the performance of the Independents, who have bagged more seats than the LF.

In South 24 Parganas district's Bhangar that has been on the boil over the construction of a power grid sub-station by the state government in the last one year, Independent candidates backed by Jomi-Jibika-Bastutantra O Poribesh Rokkha Committee (committee for protecting life, livelihood, ecology and environment) won five out of the eight Gram Panchayat seats, where they had filed their nominations via WhatsApp.

The Panchayat Samiti was, however, won by the ruling party strongman Arabul Islam who was arrested a day before the election for his alleged involvement in the murder of a local youth.

The Trinamool Congress leadership refused to celebrate as a lot of counting still remained.

It is a massive victory for Trinamool. The opposition thought giving outside support to the Independent candidates would reap them benefits. It has been proved wrong as all of them have been wiped clean. People voted for Trinamool Congress and its leader Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said.

Sporadic incidents of unrest over the election results were reported from certain districts like Nadia where a group of miscreants allegedly ran away with ballot boxes. The counting of votes was halted for almost three hours in Nadia's Majhdia after allegations of tampering with the ballot papers were received.

There are some reports of unrest in the districts but the administration concerned has already taken action. There are no reports of major violence from anywhere, SEC Secretary Nilanjan Shandilya told IANS.

In Birbhum district, BJP and Trinamool Congress activists clashed with each other outside a counting station. The police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the mob.

According to the state administration, 12 people lost their lives on the polling day among which death of six people were confirmed to be due to poll violence.

However, opposition political parties claimed the death toll on the polling day had gone up to 21, while five more people died the next day.

Statistics reveal that of the total 58,692 seats in the three tiers of the rural local bodies, 20,076 seats, or 34.2 per cent, have been decided uncontested, with the Trinamool bagging a whopping proportion of these seats.

These include 16,814 of the total 48,650 Gram Panchayats seats, 3,059 of the 9,217 Panchayat Samiti seats and 203 of the 825 Zila Parishad seats.

The Supreme Court has now asked the SEC not to issue winning certificates in these seats.


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All-round fear in country; Judges, media scared: Rahul Gandhi

All-round fear in country; Judges, media scared: Rahul

Raipur: Hitting out at the BJP-led central government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said an atmosphere of all-round fear prevailed in the country and even the Supreme Court Judges and the media are panicky.

Addressing panchayat representatives at Jan Swaraj Sammelan in Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Gandhi said: Even Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and MPs cannot open their mouths before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Who is spreading this fear? Who is gaining from this atmosphere? Several BJP members of Parliament told me that no one can speak before Modi.

He said that the Indian Constitution was under severe attack and the current state of the judiciary was like that of Pakistan.

Usually people go to the Supreme Court for justice. But for the first time in 70 years, we saw Supreme Court Judges coming to the people to complain that they are being intimidated and they are not being allowed to do their job, Gandhi said.

Such a thing, the Congress leader said, would normally happen in a dictatorship.

It happened in Pakistan and Africa. But this happened for the first time in 70 years in India, he said, referring to the Supreme Court Judges' press conference in January.


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Live Updates: New Honda Amaze 2018 Launched In India


  • Available in 4 variants: E, S, V and VX
  • Prices start from Rs 5.59 lakh (ex-showroom, India), Rs 3k higher than the Maruti Suzuki Dzire
  • Prices are introductory; reserved for the first 20,000 buyers
  • Available with both petrol and diesel engines
  • Both engines are available with either a manual transmission or an automatic (CVT)
  • Fuel efficiency: Petrol (MT - 19.5kmpl / CVT - 19kmpl) and Diesel (MT - 27.4kmpl / CVT - 23.8kmpl)
  • CVT available in S and V variants only
  • Mandatory safety features like ABS and dual front airbags are standard
  • 3-year/unlimited kilometre warranty standard with the 2018 Amaze. Check out the warranty-wise comparison of the Amaze and its rivals here

Honda Amaze 2018

Honda has launched the second-gen Amaze in India. It’s available in four variants with two engine options. The introductory prices (for first 20,000 customers only) of the Amaze 2018 are as follows:







E MT Petrol

Rs 5.59 lakh

E / E(O) MT Petrol

Rs 5.58 lakh / Rs 5.7 lakh

S MT Petrol

Rs 6.49 lakh

S / S(O) MT Petrol

Rs 5.98 lakh / Rs 6 lakh

V MT Petrol

Rs 7.09 lakh

SX MT Petrol

Rs 7.06 lakh

VX MT Petrol

Rs 7.57 lakh

VX MT Petrol

Rs 7.45 lakh

S CVT Petrol

Rs 7.39 lakh

S / S(O) CVT Petrol

Rs 7.45 lakh / Rs 7.57 lakh

V CVT Petrol

Rs 7.99 lakh

VX CVT Petrol

Rs 8.45 lakh







E MT Diesel

Rs 6.69 lakh

E / E(O) MT Diesel

Rs 6.75 lakh / Rs 6.87 lakh

S MT Diesel

Rs 7.59 lakh

S / S(O) MT Diesel

Rs 7.62 lakh / Rs 7.73 lakh

V MT Diesel

Rs 8.19 lakh

SX MT Diesel

Rs 8.13 lakh

VX MT Diesel

Rs 8.67 lakh

VX MT Diesel

Rs 8.5 lakh

S CVT Diesel

Rs 8.39 lakh

V CVT Diesel

Rs 8.99 lakh

Each variant of the Amaze gets the following features (only the most important ones are listed):

Honda Amaze E:

  • Dual front airbags
  • ABS with EBD & Brake Assist
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Impact-sensing door locks
  • Isofix seat anchors
  • All four power windows
  • Front accessory socket
  • Black-coloured door handles

Honda Amaze S (in addition to features on offer on the E):

  • Body-coloured door handles
  • 2-DIN audio player with AM/FM/Aux-in, USB & Bluetooth with 4 speakers and steering-mounted controls
  • Rear armrest with cup holders
  • Keyless entry
  • Rear accessory socket
  • Electrically-adjustable & foldable ORVMs
  • Tilt-adjustable steering
  • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Adjustable front seat headrests

Honda Amaze V (in addition to features on offer on the S):

  • LED positioning lamps
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Front fog lamps
  • Push start/stop button
  • Paddle shift (with CVT-petrol powertrain only)
  • Auto climate control

Honda Amaze VX (in addition to features on offer on the V)

  • Touchscreen infotainment system (Digipad 2.0) with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and navigation
  • Cruise control

Honda Amaze

Honda Amaze Specifications

The 2018 Amaze is based on a new platform but gets the same petrol and diesel engines as before. Both the engines are available with the option of a manual and an automatic CVT transmission. While both engines develop identical power figures as before, the diesel engine is tuned to offer only 80PS of power with the CVT, which is 20PS less than what it offers with the manual transmission. Honda says that it has been done to offer the best performance from the new powertrain. Both the engines now return better fuel efficiency than before.

Read the new Amaze’s first-drive review to know more

Honda Amaze: Old vs New​​​​​​​

Honda Amaze: Old vs New

Honda Amaze: Old vs New

Honda Amaze Competition

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