India Politics




India Politics

UNPA is year-old - does it have a future?

By Kavita Bajeli-Datt, IANS,

New Delhi : It's been a year since the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) was born but the disparate grouping is yet to emerge as a viable "Third Front" in India's confused political landscape.

And the road ahead for the multi-party coalition seems tough.

While its chairman and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party is warming up to long-time foe Congress, the AIADMK of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalitha has already walked away.

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Protests in Orissa against fuel prices hike

By IANS,

Bhubaneswar : Thousands of activists of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday staged protests and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi at several places in Orissa to protest the rise in fuel prices.

The BJP workers blocked traffic for about about two hours at Cuttack, 26 km from here, as a part of their seven-day agitation against the central government's decision.

The central government Wednesday raised the price of petrol by Rs.5 a litre, of diesel by Rs.3 a litre and of cooking gas cylinders by Rs.50.

Few thankful for long weekend due to Bengal shutdowns

By IANS,

Kolkata : There are not many people here who are thankful to political parties for the four-day weekend, thanks to the shutdown called Thursday by the state's ruling Left Front and Friday by the opposition Trinamool Congress, both to protest the central government's decision to hike fuel prices.

Film director Gautam Ghose finds it funny.

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Congress office destroyed in arson

By IANS,

Kozhikode : A Congress party office in a Kerala village was destroyed by arsonists early Thursday.

The incident took place in Kakkattil, about 60 km from here. It is not known who was to blame, but the area has seen clashes between activists of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Congress.

"We don't know who attacked the office. The Congress has cordial relations with all organisations in the area except the CPI-M," Congress district president K.C. Abu said.

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Chhattisgarh Congress fears voter backlash after fuel prices hike

By IANS,

Raipur : Leaders of the Chhattisgarh unit of the Congress, who are gearing up to face the state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the assembly polls in November, have described the central government's fuel price hikes as shocking. They fear a voter backlash.

With the Congress leading the ruling coalition at the centre, the party leaders here refused to go on record to oppose the decision to hike petrol and diesel by Rs.5 and Rs.3 per litre besides a hike of Rs.50 per cooking gas cylinder.

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Damage control: Sonia asks chief ministers to cut tax

By IANS,

New Delhi : In an attempt to check public anger sparked by the hike in fuel prices, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked Congress-ruled states to cut the sales tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products.

"Gandhi has requested the chief ministers of all Congress-ruled states to take whatever steps they can - including tax cuts - to reduce the burden on the common man," party secretary Tom Vadakkan said here Thursday.

Kerala shuts down to protest fuel price hikes

By IANS,

Thiruvananthapuram : Educational institutions in Kerala were closed and public transport was hit by Thursday's state-wide shutdown called by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to protest the hike in fuel prices.

"We had no option but to protest in this manner because several of our suggestions were being continuously ignored by the Manmohan Singh government," said Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha MP Paniyan Ravindran.

Gujarat BJP legislator's gun license cancelled

By IANS,

Ahmedabad : The gun license of Madhu Srivastava, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Vadodara city who had fired in the air during Holi revelries, was cancelled Wednesday.

The Waghodiya legislator had taken out a procession on Holi in March from his office and then fired three shots from his personal revolver, creating panic. The Vadodara police were forced to file a complaint against him but he had defended himself saying it was not a real gun.

It was proved later that it was indeed a firearm.

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Corruption main issue in Madhya Pradesh polls: Congress

By IANS,

Bhopal : Corruption would be the main issue in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, Congress general secretary V. Narayan Sami said here Wednesday.

Sami, in-charge of party affairs in Madhya Pradesh, told reporters that the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government had plunged into corruption with several ministers facing charges.

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Petrol, diesel, cooking gas dearer in India

By IANS,

New Delhi : Despite political opposition and the average citizen's anger, India Wednesday allowed a 9.5-11 percent increase in prices of cooking and transport fuels but cut customs and excise duties on crude and petroleum products to ease the financial burden on state-run oil firms, reeling under high global oil prices.

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