Latest News Today – Trinamool MP Shantanu Sen Snatches Pegasus Statement

Ashwini Vaishnaw was forced to cut short his statement by the uproar among opposition members.

New Delhi:

High drama continued in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the third straight day of the monsoon session today as opposition MPs staged protests over a range of issues, including the Pegasus snooping controversy and today’s I-T raids on media houses. In the Rajya Sabha, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was forced to cut short his statement on the row by the uproar among opposition members.

As soon as Mr Vaishnaw rose to speak on Pegasus, Trinamool MP Shantanu Sen snatched his papers, tore, and flung them at Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh. This forced the minister to lay the paper on the table instead.

The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned till tomorrow, the third time through the day. It was first adjourned till 12 noon and then till 2 pm after MPs trooped into the well of the House raising slogans and holding placards. “Members seem to be not interested in discussing people’s issues,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, adjourning the proceedings earlier in the day.

RJD member Manoj Jha later said the IT minister’s attitude was “unfortunate”.

“The way the IT Minister made a statement amidst the uproar, it seems that the government only wanted to make a mockery of this issue,” Mr Jha said.

Neither did the Lok Sabha have an uninterrupted day. It was adjourned thrice, the last time till 4 pm.

Question Hour barely lasted 12 minutes before Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House till 12 noon. Bhartruhari Mahtab, who took the Chair later, adjourned it for a second time after protesting members ignored his plea to return to their seats and discuss matters.

While leaders of the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal targeted the government on the contentious farm laws, those of the Trinamool Congress gathered near the Speaker’s podium raising the Pegasus snooping issue. They sought answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

The protests continued despite Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi saying the government was ready to discuss any topic. “The Rajya Sabha had a discussion on Covid…We are ready for discussion on whatever topic you want…Question Hour is a right of every member,” Mr Joshi said according to a PTI report.

The opposition members also tried to raise the matter of today’s income-tax raids on Dainik Bhaskar.

As soon as the House assembled, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tried to raise the issue of the raids. Other opposition members, including those from the Trinamool, however, rushed to the well of the House over the alleged targeting of political rivals, journalists, and critics for surveillance.

“I have not permitted you. You have to seek permission from me. Nothing shall go on record,” 
Mr Naidu told Mr Singh, calling for the tabling of listed papers. But only one paper could be laid out before the House was adjourned amid continuing protests.

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Latest News Today – Trinamool Congress’s Mukul Roy Takes Charge As Chief Of

Mukul Roy on Friday took charge as the Public Accounts Committee.


Legislator Mukul Roy, who has switched over to the ruling Trinamool Congress after winning the West Bengal election on a BJP ticket, on Friday took charge as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman of the state assembly.

Mr Roy, officially a BJP MLA, was appointed the  Public Accounts Committee chairman on July 9. Objecting to the appointment, eight BJP legislators on Tuesday resigned as heads of various assembly panels.

The BJP has said that as per norms, an opposition MLA is appointed as the  Public Accounts Committee chairman and the Trinamool has misused that rule.

The assembly Speaker’s office announced new names of chairmen of the eight committees on Friday. All of them are Trinamool MLAs.

Mr Roy, the MLA of Krishnagar Uttar seat, was at the office for over half an hour after taking over his new responsibility.

Asked to comment on reports that BJP is planning to move court seeking his disqualification as an MLA, he told reporters: “Anyone can go anywhere he wants.”

Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay earlier said that there was no impropriety in the appointment of Mr Roy as the Public Accounts Committee chairman.

He had also said as per norms, the chairmanship of eight standing panels went to opposition BJP MLAs but if they resigned, the posts will automatically go to the next seniormost members of the House.

Accordingly, Trinamool legislators Madan Mitra, Sudipto Roy, Tapan Dasgupta, Rukbanur Rahman, Ashok Chattopadhyay and Abdul Khaled Mollah and two others were appointed as chairmen of
various committees on Friday.

They took the place of BJP’s Manoj Tigga, Mihir Goswami, Bisnuprasad Sharma, Nikhilranjan Dey, Dipak Barman and Krishna Kalyani and two others.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said that the eight new committee chairmen will take charge on July 26.

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Latest News Today – Pranab Mukherjee’s Son Abhijit Mukherjee, Ex-Congress

Abhijit Mukherjee lost to Trinamool’s Khalilur Rahman in 2019 (File)


Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee today joined the Trinamool Congress, ending weeks of speculation and denial by him.

“The way Mamata Banerjee halted the recent communal wave by BJP, I believe that in the future, with the support of others, she would be able to do the same in the entire country,” said Abhijit Mukherjee, in his first comments after joining the Trinamool.

A former Congress MP from Jangipur and an MLA from Nalhati, Trinamool may offer Mr Mukherjee the Jangipur assembly seat which is due a bypoll as a candidate there had passed away just before the elections.

Abhijit Mukherjee’s father Pranab Mukherjee won the Jangipur parliamentary constituency in Bengal’s Murshidabad district twice as a Congress MP till he vacated it in 2012 to run for President.

The Congress, which fought the Bengal elections in partnership with the Left, was decimated. The party got zero seats; the Left too failed to win any seat.

Rumours of Mr Mukherjee’s exit gathered pace after Jitin Prasada, Congress’s top Brahmin face in UP, vaulted to the BJP.

“I remain in the Congress and reports that I am joining Trinamool or any other party are not correct,” Mr Mukherjee, a former Lok Sabha MP and Congress Campaign Committee chairman during the Bengal elections, was quoted saying by news agency PTI soon after Mr Prasada switched camps.

Mr Prasada is the second high-profile Rahul Gandhi aide to move to the BJP after Jyotiraditya Scindia left last year.

A group of dissenting leaders in the Congress have been pressing for widespread reforms across all levels of the organisation.

Abhijit Mukherjee won bypolls in the Jangipur parliamentary constituency after his father vacated the seat in 2012; he won it again in 2014. He lost to the Trinamool’s Khalilur Rahman in 2019.

Recently, Mukul Roy, along with son Shubhranshu, returned to his parent party, Trinamool, after a stint in the BJP.

“More will come”, Mamata Banerjee had quipped at the time.

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Latest News Today – Mukul Roy’s Trinamool Congress Comeback Today, To Meet

Mukul Roy was once the closest aide of Mamata Banerjee. (File)


Bengal politician Mukul Roy, who was among the first to ditch Mamata Banerjee and switch to the BJP, is set to return to the Trinamool Congress shortly, sources say.

Mukul Roy’s “Ghar Wapsi” or homecoming has dominated speculation in Bengal for weeks, ever since the state election results that returned Mamata Banerjee to power with a landslide against the BJP’s challenge.

The buzz intensified when Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee and a key leader of her party, visited Mr Roy at the hospital where his wife is admitted. The very next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly spoke to Mr Roy on the phone to ask after his wife’s health.

Mr Roy’s silence and his absence from a key BJP meet in Kolkata were seen to be big hints that the reports were true.

On Wednesday evening, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy told NDTV: “There are many people who are in touch with Abhishek Banerjee and they want to come back. I feel they betrayed the party in a time of need.”

He said the final decision would be taken by Mamata Banerjee.

Mr Roy – once the closest aide of Mamata Banerjee — was the first big Trinamool leader to jump ship and was instrumental in persuading several more MLAs and leaders to switch.

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Latest News Today – As Bengal BJP Fights Dissent, Central Leadership Runs

The Trinamool claims 35 BJP MLAs are eager to return and are in touch with the leadership (File)


The BJP has launched efforts to salvage its Bengal unit, with several leaders in the state raising tough questions and not hiding their resentment after the party’s election loss.

BJP Vice-President Mukul Roy skipped a party meet in Kolkata called by state chief Dilip Ghosh. Mr Roy has been silent but his son Shubranshu has not ruled out a return to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.

The Trinamool claims 35 BJP MLAs are eager to return and are in touch with the leadership. The tables are turned, gloats the party that lost its leaders and MLAs to the BJP in the weeks before the Bengal election.

Amid signs of brewing rebellion and “reverse migration”, the BJP’s most prominent acquisition from the Trinamool, Suvendu Adhikari, met with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda in Delhi.

Two MPs, Arjun singh and Saumitra Khan, are also heading to Delhi for meetings aimed at “feedback and review”.

The party’s strategy, both during and after the state election, has been called into question by Bengal leaders, especially those who ditched Mamata Banerjee just before the polls.

These leaders resent that the BJP brought in campaigners from outside for the state election instead of relying on the local leadership that delivered 18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019. It was a “mistake” that helped Mamata Banerjee, they say, as she turned it into a “Mamata versus All” and a “Trinamool vs outsiders” fight.

Among the doubters is Trinamool alum and ex-minister Rajib Banerjee, who joined the BJP in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah after dramatically flying to Delhi in a private jet arranged by the ruling party.

Mr Banerjee has, in a Facebook post, questioned his new party’s move to threaten President’s rule in Bengal and the Centre’s moves against Mamata Banerjee, who retained power by a landslide. The people of Bengal will not take it well, he says, and advises the party to focus on Covid and the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Another former Trinamool leader, Sabyasachi, told a local channel: “Getting leaders who can’t speak Bengali to run the campaign was a mistake.”

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Latest News Today – BJP’s Sonali Guha Wants To Rejoin Trinamool Congress

Sonali Guha said that she felt “unwanted” in the BJP (File)


Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Sonali Guha, who switched over to the BJP ahead of the elections, on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, apologising to her for leaving the party and urging her to take her back.

In the letter, which was shared by Ms Guha on Twitter, she said that she left the party after being emotional.

“I am writing this with a broken heart that I took the wrong decision of joining another party after being emotional. I could not get accustomed there,” she said.

“The way a fish cannot stay out of the water, I will not be able to live without you, Didi. I seek your forgiveness and if you don’t forgive me, I won’t be able to live. Please allow me to come back and spend the rest of my life in your affection,” she wrote in Bengali.

Ms Guha, a four-time MLA and once considered to be the “shadow” of the chief minister, was among the slew of Trinamool leaders who switched over to the BJP ahead of the assembly elections.

She was dropped from the TMC’s candidates’ list this time, following which she left the party after an emotional outburst on TV channels and joined the BJP.

She did not fight the elections but had said that she would work for strengthening the BJP’s organisation.

When contacted, Ms Guha said that she felt “unwanted” in the BJP.

“My decision to join the BJP was a wrong one and I can feel that today. I did not bother to tell the BJP about leaving that party. I always felt unwanted there. They tried to use me and asked me to badmouth Mamata-di. I could not do that,” she said.

Ms Guha, a former deputy speaker of the state assembly, said she was willing to meet the chief minister to rejoin the TMC.

“I will personally try to meet Didi but she is the chief minister and must be busy. You cannot expect her to give you time whenever you seek an appointment,” she said.

“I will go to her residence next week on the day when the last rituals of her brother who passed away recently are scheduled and try to talk to her,” Ms Guha said.

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Latest News Today – 2 BJP MPs Who Contested And Won In Bengal Resign

Nishit Pramanik was among the five BJP MPs the party fielded in Bengal (File)


In Bengal, the BJP’s tally of 77 MLAs in the Assembly is down to 75. Two BJP MPs who contested and won have submitted their resignations to the Speaker this afternoon on instructions of the party high command. The Trinamool has mocked the move as the BJP’s bid to play safe in the Lok Sabha. The Trinamool has accused the Centre’s decision to give Central security to all BJP MLAs in Bengal as misuse of taxpayers’ money.

Nishit Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar were among the five BJP MPs the party fielded for the assembly polls hoping to form a government where they could play key roles. That didn’t happen. Now the BJP clearly feels they are more useful in Parliament.

“The results in Bengal were not as expected. If the BJP had formed government, we would have a specific role. Now that is not the case so the party has said we should remain MPs and resign as MLAs. That’s why we are doing it,” said Mr Jagannath Sarkar, BJP MP from Ranaghat. He had won from the Santipur Assembly seat, both in Nadia district.

As MPs, both Mr Pramanik and Mr Sarkar have central security cover. So does Suvendu Adhikari, BJP’s Nandigram MLA and leader of opposition in the Assembly. He has Z-Plus security.

The Union home ministry has recently said it would provide central security to all BJP MLAs, based on a review of their threat perceptions.  The ministry will also foot the bill for it — all of Rs 1.5 crore per month.

“For two years, I worked with the BJP without much or a problem. But ever since 2nd May…the day the election results came out, the situation has changed. We need the security (cover). I feel our life is at risk. We have been elected by the people, but it is the failure of the state government that the Centre has to provide security,” BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul of Asansol South told NDTV.

“Definitely we need security from the Centre because we cannot trust the Bengal government… If the elected MLAs don’t feel secure, they can’t work,” said BJP MLA Subrata Thakur from Gaighata in North 24 Parganas.

The Trinamool has mocked both moves — the resignations and the central security.

“They have insulted the people who have voted for them and sent them first to Parliament and then to Assembly. Secondly, the Union government has decided to give all MLAs security cover…which is mis-utilisation of public funds,” said senior party leader Sukhendu Shekhar Roy.  “It has never happened before,” he added.

One BJP MLA has declined central security. Ashok Lahiri, the former economic advisor to the Centre told NDTV that he is banking on the state government to do what it takes to keep him and the people safe.

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Latest News Today – Union Minister V Muraleedharan Alleges Trinamool Goons

Union minister V Muraleedharan alleged that his convoy was attacked by Trinamool “goons”.

West Midnapore:

Union minister V Muraleedharan has alleged that his convoy was attacked by goons of Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress during his visit to the state. The minister posted a video on Twitter.  His tweet coincided with the visit of a four-member Central fact-finding team. The team, led by an additional secretary, was sent to the state by the Union Home Ministry to look into reasons for the post-poll violence that broke out since the counting of votes on Sunday.

The caption accompanying the minister’s tweet read, “TMC goons attacked my convoy in West Midnapore, broken windows, attacked personal staff. Cutting short my trip”.

The video shows the convoy stopped by men armed with sticks and rods. The windscreen at the back of the vehicle was broken..

“If a minister’s convoy can be attacked, then who is safe in Bengal? This is state-sponsored violence. We condemn violence in Bengal. Special measures should be taken to bring the culprits to justice,” Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

BJP chief JP Nadda, who is also in the state on a two-day visit to look into the violence, has claimed that 14 BJP workers have been killed and nearly one lakh people have fled their homes.

Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee “has blood on her hands”, added Mr Nadda, who is also meeting the violence-hit families.

The three-time Chief Minster — whose party has registered a sweeping victory in the state in face of a huge BJP challenge — has accused the party of instigating violence. Her Trinamool Congress has claimed that two of their members were beaten to death by BJP supporters.

After taking oath yesterday, Ms Banerjee called upon the people to restore peace and said law and order is a priority.

Among her first acts was the restoration of the state’s top police officers in the posts they occupied before being moved out by the Election Commission ahead of the assembly polls.

“I appeal to all political parties to maintain peace. Bengal does not like violence. Please take proper care that there is no violence,” Ms Banerjee has said.

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Latest News Today – Election Commission Rejects Trinamool Congress’s Request

“But I will go to the court because I have heard there were some malpractices,” Mamata Banerjee

New Delhi:

The Election Commission has rejected the Trinamool Congress’s appeal for a recount of votes at Nandigram, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had faced her aide-turned arch rival Suvendu Adhikari. 

After a day of yo-yo counting the Election Commission had declared that the Chief Minister had lost by 1,736 votes in the contest that was the centrepiece of the assembly election in the state.

The Trinamool Congress had declared the counting process “fishy”. Ms Banerjee had alleged “malpractices” and said she would approach the courts.

“Let the Nandigram people give whatever verdict they want, I accept that. Nandigram was a sacrifice that was needed in the larger victory. We have won the state,” said the Chief Minister, whose party is heading for a stupendous 210-plus seat victory.

“But I will go to the court because I have heard there were some malpractices,” she had said earlier this evening.

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Latest News Today – Trinamool Ahead In Bengal, DMK In Tamil Nadu, Left In

Election Results: Counting of votes is on for Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu polls.

New Delhi:
The BJP and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool are locked in a close fight in Bengal as votes are being counted for state elections held amid a huge Covid surge. DMK has made gains in Tamil Nadu. BJP leads in Assam; in Kerala, LDF and UDF are neck and neck.

Here are the top 10 updates on assembly election results 2021:

  1. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is facing a tight race in Bengal, where the BJP seems to have made gains since the 2019 nationa elections. The Chief Minister’s Trinamool and the BJP ran a bitter, no holds barred campaign that defied Covid safety rules as well as the poll code.

  2. The most-watched fight in Bengal is for Nandigram, where the Chief Minister faces off against the BJP’s Suvendhu Adhikari, her ex-aide whose December defection triggered a flood of exits. Ms Banerjee is trailing in early trends in Nandigram.

  3. In Assam, the BJP is ahead of its nearest rival Congress, which campaigned hard to reclaim its one-time bastion.

  4. In Tamil Nadu, the DMK is ahead of the ruling AIADMK, which has an alliance with the BJP.

  5. In Kerala, the incumbent LDF has an edge in a close fight with the Congress-led UDF. The LDF is hoping to buck a 40-year tradition and win re-election.

  6. Voting for these elections took place in March and April, just as India started reporting thousands of fresh coronavirus infections every day. On March 14, two weeks before the first phase, there were fewer than 25,000 new cases a day. On March 27 there were around 62,000 and, by April 29, there were well over 3.5 lakh per day. On Saturday, new cases reached a record daily high of 401,993, the biggest across the world.

  7. Alongside the Covid spike, leaders of all political parties, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, led political rallies at which large crowds discarded safety rules on masks and social distancing.

  8. Last week the Madras High Court said the Election Commission “should probably be booked for murder” for not stopping rallies. Late Saturday the Commission hit back and filed a complaint in the Supreme Court.

  9. The Election Commission has banned all victory processions. The poll body has also said candidates will not be allowed inside counting centres without either a negative Covid report (no older than 48 hours) or confirmation that they’d received both their vaccine shots.

  10. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal tweeted this morning: “On today’s election results: Whoever wins such victories are pyrrhic. Today what matters is: Saving lives.”

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