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Regional parties will come to power at Centre: BRS chief

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Hyderabad, May 13 (IANS) Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao said on Monday said regional parties will come to power at the Centre.

The former Telangana chief minister was talking to media persons after casting his vote in his native Chintamadaka village in Siddipet district.

When asked if he would join hands with INDIA bloc in days to come, he said there is nothing like a bloc.

“There is nothing like a block. Now, regional parties will come to power in India,” he said

“There is no doubt in it. This is the situation emerging in the country,” he said when asked about his earlier statement that regional parties will play a key role in the formation of the next government at the Centre.

KCR said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to step down as per the rule set by the BJP that nobody should take up any position after reaching the age of 75.

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The BRS chief hoped that Telangana will record 65-70 per cent polling.

The BRS, which lost power to Congress in Telangana five months ago, is contesting all 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state on its own.

KCR and his wife cast their votes in Siddipet Assembly segment, a part of Medak Lok Sabha constituency.

–IANS

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K'taka govt didn't spend a single penny for Bengaluru's development: BJP leader Ashoka

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Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS) The leader of the opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, R. Ashoka, said on Friday that not a single penny has been released by the Congress government for the development of state capital Bengaluru.

The senior BJP leader also dared the state government to declare how much funds it has allotted for the development of Bengaluru since it came to power last year.

Speaking to reporters here, Ashoka said, “During the tenure of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa, Rs 7,000 crore in special grants was released for the development of Bengaluru in one year. Ex-CM Basavaraj Bommai, during his tenure, released Rs 6,700 crore. Let the Congress come out with figures.”

He also asked the Congress government to give an account of the money allotted for filling up ‘lakhs of potholes’ on the streets of Bengaluru.

“Nothing is happening here other than the Chief Minister’s photoshoots. The Commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) claimed that all necessary measures were taken to handle the rainy season a month ago. If the preparedness was adequate, why would the CM conduct a city tour,” Ashoka questioned.

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“The contractors are ready to commit suicide as the government has not paid them due to a shortage of funds. What is the role of the state government? When will the government release funds to fill up the potholes? The worst water crisis faced by Bengaluru has dented the reputation of the city on the global stage,” Ashoka claimed.

He also said that the state government should provide an account of the funds released in the name of ‘Brand Bengaluru’.

“The garbage collectors are under pressure as their bills are not cleared. People are questioning what they are getting in return for the taxes they pay. Is ‘Brand Bengaluru’ still in existence, or has it disappeared? The Congress government must answer. The BJP will stage a protest on May 28 at the Freedom Park to condemn this,” he said.

–IANS

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Akhil Gogoi bats for merging two regional parties in Assam

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Guwahati, May 24 (IANS) Legislator from Assam’s Sibsagar constituency and Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi on Friday asserted that a “strong regional force” is required to safeguard the interest of Assam, adding that working towards that direction, his party is keen to merge with the Assam Jatiya Parishad to form a new political entity.

“Looking into the current political situation in the state, it is imperative that we need a strong regional party. We held discussions with Assam Jatiya Parishad leaders on the probability of merging the two parties into one. The discussions were positive and on behalf of Raijor Dal, we have given our consent in this matter,” Gogoi told reporters.

According to him, the ball is now in the court of Assam Jatiya Parishad.

“If they (Assam Jatiya Parishad) agree, a new political party will be formed with a new constitution. I believe that if both parties come together, we will become a formidable force to take on the BJP. In the coming days, other small parties will also come to our side,” Gogoi said.

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He also said that the regional parties hold the key to providing a better political alternative to the people of Assam.

Gogoi said that if for some “technical” reasons, Assam Jatiya Parishad turns down the proposal, a ‘United Front’ will be formed, bringing regional parties of the state into single fold.

However, the chief of Assam Jatiya Parishad, Lurinjyoti Gogoi has not issued any official statement on merging his party with Raijor Dal.

Notably, both Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal were part of a united opposition forum led by Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.

Congress left the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat for Lurinjyoti Gogoi and he contested the election against BJP heavyweight Sarbananda Sonowal.

–IANS

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Jeep ride to Dudhsagar waterfall in Goa barred from June 1

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Panaji, May 24 (IANS) The adventurous journey of 14 km by Jeep to the Dudhasagar waterfall from the Bhagwan Mahavir National Park at Collem in South Goa will be closed from June 1 for the proliferation of wildlife during the monsoon season.

Every year, more than two lakh domestic and foreign tourists flock to this tourism circuit located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park, which remains closed for taxi operations every year during the monsoon.

The Deputy Conservator of Forests informed that the Dudhsagar waterfall tourism circuit will be closed for vehicle movement with effect from June 1 for the proliferation of wildlife and due to the advancement of monsoon in Goa.

The jeep ride to the waterfall is likely to commence in September or October.

–IANS

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NE states likely to witness moderate to very heavy rainfall for 3 days from Sunday

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Guwahati/Agartala, May 24 (IANS) Most northeastern states will witness moderate to very heavy rainfall for three days from Sunday due to a severe cyclonic storm arising from a depression over the central Bay of Bengal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast on Friday.

An IMD statement said that the depression is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and intensify into a cyclonic storm over the east-central Bay of Bengal by Saturday morning.

The cyclonic storm would intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Saturday night, continue to move nearly northwards and is very likely to cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara around Sunday midnight as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 110-120 kmph, gusting to 130 kmph.

The IMD said that light to moderate rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places, is likely to occur in Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland from May 26 to 28.

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Isolated extremely heavy rainfall is likely over Assam and Meghalaya on May 27 and 28, Mizoram and Tripura on May 27, and Arunachal Pradesh on May 28, the IMD statement said.

–IANS

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All arrangements in place for voting in J&K's Anantnag-Rajouri constituency: CEO

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Srinagar, May 24 (IANS) J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P.K. Pole said on Friday that all arrangements are in place for smooth, fearless, and secure voting in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency on Saturday in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls.

All polling staff and security personnel have been deputed at their places of duty, he said.

“All necessary arrangements, including comprehensive security protocols, have been made for the elections. We have made all the arrangements for the elections. Security has been put in place in all the districts of the constituency. We are expecting a good voter turnout in the region,” the CEO said.

Polling staff and security personnel drawn from CAPFs and J&K Police have been deputed in all the five districts of Poonch, Rajouri, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian where the 18 voting segments of this constituency are situated.

A total of 2,338 polling stations for 18,36,576 voters – 9,33,647 males, 9,02,902 females, and 27 third-gender voters – have been set up. The voter list also includes 17,967 persons with disabilities and 540 individuals over the age of 100.

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There are 25,000 migrant voters in the constituency for whom special polling stations have been set up in Jammu, Udhampur, and Delhi.

For uninterrupted communication with polling staff at remote booths, satellite phones and wireless sets have been provided.

As many as 19 polling stations are located along the Line of Control, (LoC) where additional security deployment has been made.

There are 20 candidates in the fray in this constituency. However, the main contest is between National Conference candidate and senior Gujjar/Bakarwal leader Mian Altaf Ahmad, Peoples Democratic Party President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and J&K Apni Party’s Zafar Iqbal Manhas. The BJP has unofficially supported the Apni Party candidate and has not fielded any candidate in this constituency.

Pahari community living in Poonch and Rajouri districts form a significant number of voters in the constituency. This community was given ST status by the Centre recently. In addition to the Pahari community, Gujjar/Bakarwal community also forms a significant part of the constituency’s electorate.

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Mian Altaf Ahmad has a predominant influence among the Gujjar/Bakarwal community which cuts across party lines since he is considered to be the religious leader of this community.

Voting starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday and will end at 6 p.m.

Polling for the constituency was due to take place in the third phase on May 7 but subsequently deferred to the sixth phase due to weather conditions. With this, LS elections will end in J&K.

–IANS

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