Political updates: Amit Shah to kick off BJP’s Goa poll campaign next week
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New Delhi: Mint brings to you your daily dose of political news reported by newsrooms across the country.
GST bill passed by Lok Sabha, action now shifts to states
The country moved a step closer to rolling out the goods and services tax (GST) regime on Monday after Parliament passed the 122nd constitution amendment bill.
The action will now shift to the states as the government seeks to get the bill ratified by a majority of the Indian states within the next one month to stay on course for its 1 April 2017 deadline on implementing the seminal tax reform. Read more
BJP plans 15-day Independence Day celebrations to promote peace
In an effort to promote social harmony, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning a fortnight’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of Independence. The campaign will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 August at Bhavra in Madhya Pradesh, the birthplace of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad.
The move to promote peace and social harmony is significant because Modi has recently spoken out against atrocities on Dalits by self-styled “cow vigilantes”. In the past two days, Modi has used two different public meetings to raise the issue of violence against Dalits. Read more
GST bill leads to JD(U)-BJP bonhomie
In an effort to consolidate his political image as a vikas purush or development man of Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar has found a common cause with the BJP—the goods and services tax (GST) bill. A new “comfort level” has developed between the two after the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) broke ranks with the opposition parties to openly come out in support of the GST bill, and after its passage offered to call a special sitting of the Bihar assembly to ratify it. Read more
Narendra Modi leads campaign to woo Dalits
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the fightback of the BJP to regain lost ground with the Dalit community following missteps by fringe saffron groups.
After condemning the gau rakshak groups on Saturday, the following day, while addressing a public rally in Hyderabad, Modi sent out a strong warning to groups attacking Dalits. “If you have to attack, attack me, but stop attacking my Dalit brethren.” Read more
NDA on a high after passage of key bills
The monsoon session of Parliament enters its last week on Monday, having scored several legislative and political successes that make it one of the most satisfying for the Narendra Modi-led government.
The timing of the monsoon session too has hit a sweet spot—the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is in the midst of celebrating two years in government. Read more
Thomas Isaac bats for GST rate in excess of 20%
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac is in favour of a GST above 20% and a rate of 5% on articles of daily consumption to minimize the burden on the common man.
This puts Kerala, along with some other states who argue on similar lines, on a collision course with the Union government which favours a moderate GST rate to contain inflationary pressures. The Congress, the other major national party, is insisting that the tax rate be capped at 18% in the GST legislation. Read more
Narendra Modi to visit Vietnam with eye on South China Sea dispute
Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems set to give India’s ties with South-East Asia a boost in September, with plans to visit Vietnam against the backdrop of an international tribunal ruling against China’s claims over disputed islands in the South China Sea. Read more
Govt raises budget for rural jobs scheme by Rs5,000 crore
The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government has increased the budget for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by Rs.5,000 crore to Rs.43,500 crore for 2016-17, minister of state for rural development Ram Kripal Yadav told Parliament on Monday.
The scheme “will not be shut down but strengthened. It is a special direction from the prime minister not to compromise on this scheme”, the minister said in response to a query from Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien in the Rajya Sabha. Read more
BSP’s Swami Prasad Maurya joins BJP
Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) former national general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya joined the BJP on Monday, ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election in 2017. Maurya, who was leader of the opposition in the state assembly and a popular backward caste face of the party, was inducted into the BJP in the presence of the party’s national president Amit Shah and state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, among other leaders. He had quit the BSP on 22 June, accusing its chief Mayawati of corruption and “auctioning” seats. Read more
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani keeps key portfolios of industries, home
Ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held in January 2017, Gujarat’s new chief minister Vijay Rupani has kept key portfolios, including industries, mines and minerals, ports, climate change, home and science & technology, among others. Read more
BJP national council in Kozhikode from 22 September
The three-day BJP national council which will witness the participation of political heavyweights, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is to be held in Kozhikode from 22 September.
Disclosing this, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said that Modi would address a public meeting to be held as part of the programme on 24 September. Read more
Modi should have avoided remark that 80% gau rakshaks are fake: RSS
A day after the general secretary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bhaiyyaji Joshi, echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in condemning activities of “a handful of opportunistic people who in the name of cow protection” are trying to “poison social harmony”, the BJP’s ideological arm said Modi should have avoided the remark that such people constitute 80% of gau rakshaks in the country. Read more
Bengal BJP plans to organise minority meet to woo vote bank
In an attempt to strengthen its minority vote bank in Bengal, the BJP plans to organise a “Muslim Sammelan” in Murshidabad district on 20 August. National leaders of the saffron brigade are said to have set an agenda for the meeting, which includes the issue of “illegal” cow-slaughtering and cattle smuggling, rampant in the bordering districts in Bengal. Read more
Tour operators brace for losses as Gorkhaland simmers again
As political leaders brace for a more intense movement to demand a separate state of Gorkhaland, carved out of West Bengal, the tourism sector prepares for losses caused by the impact of the movement ahead of the tourist season. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung has warned to relaunch an aggressive and armed movement for his demand of Gorkhaland, which will separate Darjeeling from Bengal. Read more
Parsekar to lead party at Goa polls, says state BJP chief
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will not contest the next assembly elections in Goa, neither will he return to state politics, BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar said on Monday. Parrikar will only campaign for the state elections, he added. When asked to comment on a media report about Parrikar replacing chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar before the next assembly elections, Tendulkar said that Parrikar had already announced that Parsekar will lead the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections, but a final decision will be taken by the party’s parliamentary board. Read more
BJP national chief’s address to kick off party’s poll campaign in Goa
BJP national president Amit Shah will kick off the party’s election campaign in Goa for the upcoming assembly election during his three-day visit to the state commencing from 19 August. Read more
Arvind Kejriwal to visit Goa on 20 August
Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal will make his third visit to the state over a period of four months, on 20 August. At present, he is on a 10-day vipasana session at Dharamkot, near Dharamsala, and is expected to resume work on 13 August and travel to Goa and Punjab after a week. Read more
Sharan Poovanna from Bengaluru, Soumonty Kanungo from Kolkata, Abhiram Ghadyalpatil from Mumbai, Maulik Rajnikant Pathak from Ahmedabad contributed to this story