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Campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat polls, seen as a make or break situation for both ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress party has ended. The first phase election will take place 9 December. A total of 89 seats - out of 182 - spanning the Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions, are up for grabs in the first phase with 977 candidates in the fray, including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Through the campaigning, while the BJP is projecting the work of its state and union government to battle anti-incumbency in the state, the Congress party has mainly targeted the "hollow Gujarat development model" to slam Modi.
On the last day, this is how PM Modi and Congress' soon to President Rahul Gandhi fought it out in the state.
Mani Shankar Aiyar, the self-proclaimed Congress freelancer, has been doing more harm than good to the Congress party. Aiyar, who infamously dismissed Modi as a "chaiwalla" ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, called the PM an uncultured man who practices dirty politics. "Mujhko lagta hai ki ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, isme koi sabhyata nahi hai, or aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai? (This man is a low-life person, he isn't cultured... at this moment why does he need to practice such dirty politics?)" he told reporters. This was not the first time he gave fodder to the opposition party to take a jibe at him and the Congress. Only recently, he compared Rahul Gandhi's imminent elevation as Congress chief to 'Aurangzeb Raj'.
His "Neech Aadmi" comment has landed him in trouble again. Rahul Gandhi has asked him to apologise, and Modi, obviously, used it to his advantage. The Congress has now suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party accused him of colluding with the BJP.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Law Minister Kapil Sibal has been asked not to campaign for the party in Gujarat. Sources have told News18 that the party has taken the decision in the wake of recent controversy over Sibal's arguments in the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi case.
Have Sibal and Aiyar doomed the Congress in Gujarat? Watch the debate with Zakka Jacob.
In other news, All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) Convenor Zafaryab Jilani told News18.com that If Rajiv Gandhi was alive, the Babri dispute would have ended.
The brother of the Muslim labourer from Bengal was hacked and burnt alive in Rajasthan's Rajsamand district. But there appears to be more to the brutal murder than just a monetary dispute. Mohammad Kausar suspected that his brother Mohammad Afrazul may have learnt about some dubious dealings involving the accused, Shambulal Regar, and was killed for it. The Rajasthan government, on the other hand, has set up a Special Investigation Team after reports that there could be a communal angle. The presence of a young girl in the video has fuelled rumours that it could be a case of love jihad and that the labourer was in an alleged illicit relationship with the accused’s sister.
The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes may be extended till March 31 next year.
The Mysore royal family – the Wodeyars – announced the birth of a baby boy in the royal family, hoping to end a 400-year-old curse that the Wodeyars will never have a natural heir to the family.
Virat Kohli is the undisputed no 1 in every field. He is the top ODI and T20I batsman, and he led the Indian team to be the best Test team in the world also. Now, Kohli has managed to become the top in Yahoo's most searched sports person for 2017.
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In Gujarat, Congress over the years has done reasonably well in rural areas. In Assembly and in Lok Sabha polls, the party has polled more than 30% votes. But at the same time, the party has not shown any real inclination to challenge the ruling dispensation to emerge as the alternative. So if the main opposition party does not do what it is expected of, people create their own alternatives. That is the beauty of democracy. Hardik Patel, Jingnesh Mevani, Alpesh Thakor, Chotubhai Vasava are all creations of the same in-built mechanisms.
While some analysts believe that India's statement on US President Donald Trump's announcement recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital was not categorical enough, others believe India is treading a fine line and in that context the statement was measured as it ought to be. Between Palestine and Israel, where does India stand?
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