Seat sharing talks with the Janata Dal (U) will figure high on the agenda during BJP chief Amit Shah’s visit to Patna on Thursday. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is scheduled to join Mr Shah for both breakfast and dinner during the visit. Top sources in the BJP have confirmed that while Mr Shah will be largely busy with organisational meetings, two one-on-one meetings have been scheduled with Mr. Kumar.“Adhyakshaji (BJP president Amit Shah) will be having breakfast with the Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar) at the State guest house where he will be staying. After addressing organisational meetings like the social media volunteers meet, a meeting of vistaraks, core committee and Shakti Kendra meetings, he will have dinner with Nitish Kumar at the latter’s residence,” said a source. State BJP president Nityanand Rai confirmed the two meetings. “Seat sharing talks are on the anvil, and a formula that will be good for all stakeholders will be formulated,” added the source. No other details were shared as party men and allies like the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) are holding their peace.Electoral equation“We won 22 seats in 2014 on our own; some of them were seats where JD(U) used to win as part of the NDA. Therefore, the seat adjustment is not just about absolute numbers but particular seats and this will have implications for some sitting BJP MPs too,” added the source. Meanwhile, a political observer in Bihar told The Hindu, “I don’t see any electoral dividend for the BJP to take JD(U) along with it in Lok Sabha poll…for the BJP, a triangular contest will always benefit as both RJD and JD(U) would cut each other’s backward caste vote while the BJP’s vote bank will be intact in the name of PM Narendra Modi”.“Though, it will be a different ball game if JD(U) compromises with 9-10 seats with the BJP promising it a lion share in the State Assembly poll in 2020,” said political analyst Ajay Kumar.
As the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill winds up discussions on Tuesday, “serious differences” persisted between the government and civil society and fresh discord broke out over appointment and removal of the anti-corruption ombudsman.Both the sides will exchange their drafts version of the bill which will be merged into one document with differences listed for a final decision to be taken by the Union Cabinet, spokespersons for both the camps said.While HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, one of the official representatives on the committee, on Monday claimed that there was 80 to 85 per cent agreement between the two sides and that there was a “major breakthrough” and forward movement, the civil society side made light of the government claim.Sibal acknowledged that there was “strong divergence” of opinions but both the camps said the discussions were held in a “very cordial atmosphere”.The differences between the two sides remain on inclusion of Prime Minister within the ambit of the Bill as also the higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside the House, funding model, CBI under Lokpal and Lokayuktas in state.At Monday’s meeting, an addition was made to this list when the two sides disagreed over who will constitute the panel to select Lokpal and who can approach the Supreme Court for removal.Arvind Kejriwal, a civil society member in the committee, said the government wanted the selection panel should have prime minister, Leaders of both the Houses in Parliament, Leaders of Opposition, Speaker, Cabinet Secretary, a Supreme Court judge and a High Court Chief Justice, which they say protects the existing corrupt system.advertisementKejriwal and other civil society representative Prashant Bhushan said the government maintained the Lokpal Bill would have a provision that it alone would have the provision to approach the Supreme Court for removal of the ombudsman and people would not have such a right.The government has so far agreed that the Prime Minister can be brought under the Lokpal only after he demits office and not when he is holding the office.Bhushan asked what is the logic of giving immunity to the Prime Minister when he is holding office because that will be the national security threat which he can compromise through corrupt deals.”None of us are hoping for an agreement tomorrow,” Kejriwal said adding both the sides will exchange drafts and one note containing differences will go to the Cabinet.On Sibal’s claim of 80-85 per cent agreement, Bhushan said the question is the quality of agreement. “All the basic principles are not of same importance. The differences are on the basic vision of the Lokpal which the civil society wants and which the government is prepared for,” he said.- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
FC Barcelona’s Dembele, right, celebrates after scoring with teammates his side’s second goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey soccer match between FC Barcelona and Levante at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — Barcelona earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday, but its continued participation in the tournament remains under threat.Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele led Barcelona to a comfortable 3-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou Stadium, helping it advance 4-2 on aggregate. However, the Catalan club could be disqualified for allegedly using a suspended player in the first leg.ADVERTISEMENT Qatar, Japan advance in Asian Cup with perfect records Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LATEST STORIES “We prefer to win on the field, but the regulations exist and everyone needs to follow them,” Levante coach Paco Lopez said. “Let’s see what happens.”The Spanish federation is expected to rule on Levante’s complaint before Friday’s draw.Real Madrid was eliminated in the tournament’s round of 16 in 2015 for using striker Denis Cheryshev while he was suspended.“We are surprised, we found out about it by the press,” Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives said. “We analyzed the situation and concluded that Chumi’s participation was legal.”With Messi back in the lineup after being rested in the first leg, Barcelona easily reversed the 2-1 deficit from the first match. The Argentine playmaker set up goals by Dembele in the 30th and 31st minutes, then sealed the victory by scoring in the 54th.ADVERTISEMENT CJ Peralta assures fair decision on Marcos poll protest vs Robredo PLAY LIST 02:11CJ Peralta assures fair decision on Marcos poll protest vs Robredo01:31Got robbed? Manila South Cemetery’s website helps track down perpetrators02:24Sotto urges Robredo to accept antidrug post02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Barcelona has made it at least to the quarterfinals in the Copa in nine straight seasons. It won the title five times in the last seven years.Earlier Thursday, Espanyol defeated Villarreal 3-1 at home with two goals by striker Borja Iglesias to advance 5-3 on aggregate, while Real Betis salvaged a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad to reach the last eight on away goals after a 0-0 first-leg draw.Real Madrid, Girona, Valencia, Getafe and Sevilla also made it to the quarterfinals. Atletico Madrid was eliminated by Girona on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ Levante said it will make a formal complaint to the Spanish soccer federation on Friday, ahead of the draw for the quarterfinals.The four-time defending Copa champion has denied any wrongdoing for using youth player Juan “Chumi” Brandariz in last week’s match in Valencia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We don’t have any doubts,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “We believe we will be in the draw tomorrow. We did everything right and we won on the field, which is where we had to win.”Levante said Chumi should not have played because of an accumulation of yellow cards with Barcelona’s “B” team, arguing that his suspension applied to the senior team as well, including in Copa matches. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments