Daily Bulletin: Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati to announce alliance today, Narendra Modi to address BJP cadre at national meeting; day's top stories

Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati to announce alliance for general elections today

As the race for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections picks up pace, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati are expected to announce their decision to ally for the general elections. In a joint press conference that will begin at noon, the two are expected to outline the plan for the alliance. On Friday, Akhilesh said the alliance will "get the math right" and the BJP will face defeat. The two parties have agreed to an in-principle alliance, according to a PTI report.

"Last time we had come together in the Lok Sabha by-elections and BJP had lost the seats (earlier held by) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. This time too our math will be right and the BJP will face defeat," Akhilesh said.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the BJP had strengthened because it joined hands with regional parties and his party was also gaining strength by forming a coalition. "Our (BSP and SP) coming together has not only created fear in the BJP but also in the Congress," Yadav added. The BSP and SP alliance has virtually shut its doors to Congress in the state.

However, reportedly, a spokesperson had said the alliance will not field candidates in Amethi and Raebareli, leaving the two Lok Sabha constituencies for Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progress Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi.

File photo of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav with Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati. PTI

File photo of Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav with Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati. PTI

Narendra Modi to lay out election agenda at summit today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the BJP National Council meeting on Friday, which is the second and final day of the summit in the national capital. Reportedly, the prime minister will lay out the election agenda of the BJP and NDA alliance in his address at 12.30 pm.

BJP president Amit Shah on Friday dismissed the SP-BSP alliance and exhorted party leaders and workers in Uttar Pradesh to prepare to fight for a vote share of more than 50 percent. Shah spoke about an emerging “Modi versus the rest” situation in the Lok Sabha polls, and asserted that such a scenario would ultimately benefit the party, as people would see the negatives of the Opposition parties' game.

According to reports, the Modi government's "social justice" plank with its outreach to Dalits, backward classes and general category was expected to be the key theme at the meeting. Almost 12,000 party workers and members were anticipated to participate in the summit. Sources said the council may pass three resolutions, highlighting the government's "successes" on various fronts ranging from economy to social justice and also dwell at length on the prevailing political scenario.

Banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal passes away at 57

Banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal died on Friday after a brief illness. Sanyal had joined the Aam Aadmi Party after quitting her job as the country chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, and contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014. AAP leader and Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia confirmed her death in a tweet, saying the country has lost a "sharp economic brain and a gentle soul".

"You will forever remain in our hearts," Sisodia said in the tweet. "Extremely sad to hear this. No words to express...," AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

Sanyal was awarded as Philanthropist of the Year by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in 2011 and was a sought-after figure in the economic circles.

Rahul Gandhi says, "Not in favour of BJP-mukt Bharat."

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a maiden visit, on Friday said that India had been witnessing "intolerance" for "four and a half years", in his address to the Indian diaspora in Dubai.

India cannot be strong if it is divided, he said at the address after meeting with UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Rahul said, "My beloved country is being divided for political reasons and benefits. It is being divided in different religions, communities, the rich and poor. Once again, we have to bring India together regardless of ideologies and thinking. Once again we have to bring India together, its people, religions and casts," Rahul said.

Taking a jibe at the BJP's 'Congress-mukt Bharat slogan, he said "we don't need a 'BJP-mukt Bharat'. We want an India where every citizen says he is an Indian first and then the rest," he said.

Australia elect to bat first in first ODI after winning toss at Sydney

Hosts Australia opted to bat first in the opening ODI against India in Sydney. With BCCI suspending all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul for their comments on a TV show, India field Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in their playing XI. Mohammed Shami returns to the ODI set up with MS Dhoni donning wicket-keeper's gloves.

Green Book writer Nick Vallelonga regrets anti-Muslim tweets

Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga has apologised for his past anti-Muslim comments that he posted on Twitter during the 2016 US presidential elections. In a statement, Vallelonga apologised for the comments, especially to actor Mahershala Ali, who plays one of the leads in the Peter Farrelly-directed film by the same name.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 12, 2019 08:42:16 IST

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