Upendra Kushwaha downplays skipping NDA meeting

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first_img“Amit Shah [BJP president] also did not attend the NDA’s dinner meeting in Patna…why is nobody asking about his absence there?”, asked Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief and Union Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha on Friday after reaching Patna. On Thursday Mr. Kushwaha skipped the crucial NDA meet meant to put up a “united front” amid discordant voices from alliance partners.Speaking to the media at the airport, Mr. Kushwaha expressed surprise over why so much importance was given to his absence at the event, when it was for the party leaders and workers.“It was due to some personal reasons I could not attend the event but my party leaders did,” said Mr. Kushwaha. Before leaving for his Parliamentary constituency Karakat in Rohtas district, he also asserted that there was no discontent in the NDA in Bihar.Also read: BJP’s ally troubles — Upendra Kushwaha skips NDA dinner meeting“I’m not unhappy or displeased with the NDA as is being speculated…NDA is united and intact,” he said. Though, he also confirmed that he would not be attending the iftar party hosted by senior Bihar BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.Mr. Kushwaha evaded a question on his party’s senior leader Nagamani’s statement ahead of the NDA meeting that the alliance should declare him (Kushwaha) as its leader in the Assembly poll in 2020. “You should pose this question to Mr. Nagamani,” Mr. Kushwaha said.Mr. Nagamani, who is national working president of the RLSP, had said that his party chief “represents a caste group which comprised 10% of Bihar’s total population which is next only to the Yadavs and hence his projection as the NDA’s leader would benefit the coalition.”Meanwhile, taking a dig at Mr. Kushwaha’s absence, RJD Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Manoj Jha said, “What is happening in the NDA shows there is a tectonic shift in Indian politics as the common man sees himself pitted against the arrogant BJP… leaders like Mr. Kushwaha have begun to do a rethink over their alliance with the BJP and many more would follow suit in the near future.”RJD alliance partner and leader of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) Jitan Ram Manjhi invited Mr. Kushwaha to join the RJD-led Grand Alliance but not with his demand “to be the CM candidate as this position is already reserved for Tejashwi Yadav.”Mr. Kushwaha had met RJD chief Lalu Prasad when he was admitted in the AIIMS in Delhi and the meeting had triggered speculation about Mr. Kushwaha’s future moves.last_img read more


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first_imgPerlas’ Bea Tan and Dij Rodriguez topped Pool A with a 2-0 record following a 21-17, 21-13 victory over San Beda’s Ella and Nieza Viray, while Air Force 1’s May Ann Pantino and Jozza Cabalsa completed a three-match sweep of Pool C assignments following a 21-10, 21-7 decision over University of the Philippines’ alums Pam Legaspi and Aliya Ong.NU Boysen 1’s Roma Joy Doromal and Kly Orillaneda ruled Pool B with a 2-0 slate after scoring a 21-10, 21-8 win over Pangasinan 2’s Tricia Abalos and Abigail Guzman.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsPangasinan has a team that made it to the top eight as Alaminos’ Karen Mae Vinluan and April May de Guzman turned back Legaspi and Ong, 21-17, 22-20, to finish second in Pool C with a 2-1 cardThe other women’s quarterfinalists are San Beda’s Viray twins (1-1), Air Force 2’s Mikaela Andres and Angel Antipuesto (1-1), and NU Boysen 2’s Landicho and Epa (1-1). LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 THE participants of the BVR On Tour: Lingayen Open give a thumbs-up sign together with Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo N. Bataoil during the opening ceremony Tuesday at the Capitol Beachfront. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOLINGAYEN – Sta. Lucia’s Jackie Estoquia and DM Demontaño made a successful comeback in the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour, winning two matches to advance to the quarterfinals Tuesday at the Capitol Beachfront here.Playing for the first time since the Santa Ana Open in Cagayan last year, Estoquia and Demontaño displayed tremendous improvement in the sand court, opening their campaign with a 21-7, 21-12 conquest of Rizal Technological University’s Hannah Patrocenio and Myla Lim before completing a sweep of Pool D matches with a 21-10, 21-12 romp of NU Boysen 2’s Bingle Landicho and Kath Epa.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Action resumes Wednesday with the quarterfinals starting at 7 a.m., with the semis and finals to be played in the afternoon.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated View comments Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more


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first_imgEver since Sri Lanka were awarded Test status in 1982, the island nation has produced some of the finest and most stylish cricketers the sport has ever seen. Sitting at the top half of that list is Mahela Jayawardene, the right-handed batsman from Colombo who went on to become one of the greatest batters of his generation.Jayawardene made his debut in international cricket in 1997 in the first Test against India on his homeground and made an instant impact in the drawn game, scoring 66 off 105 balls batting way down the order at No. 6. (Sri Lanka hurting from India whitewash: what’s plaguing the islanders?)Over the course of the next 17 years, Jayawardene amassed 11,814 runs in 149 Tests at an average of 49.84 with 34 hundreds and 50 half-centuries, thus, finishing his career as the eighth highest run-scorer in history. Just three spots behind his good friend and longtime teammate Kumar Sangakkara.#OnThisDay in 2014 Sri Lanka legend @MahelaJay bowed out from Test cricket after 149 Tests with 11,816 runs & 34 centuries, averaging 49.84. pic.twitter.com/mhuJc7xdRa- ICC (@ICC) August 18, 2017Jayawardene became the first Sri Lankan batsman to cross the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket but was eventually overtaken by Sangakkara, who scored 12,400 runs in 134 matches at 57.40.The 374 runs Jayawardene scored against South Africa at the SSC in 2006 remains to this day the highest score by a right-handed batsman in Test history. And he had his best mate for company during that innings as the duo added a world record 624 runs for the third wicket to help Sri Lanka win by an innings and 153 runs against the Proteas.advertisementThe duo formed the backbone of the Sri Lankan batting lineup along with veteran Sanath Jayasuriya at the top of the order and took the responsibility on their shoulders after Jayasuriya retired in 2007.(Reuters Photo)Jayawardene took over the captain’s post in 2006 and led the team in 38 Test matches with 18 wins, 12 losses and eight draws, the same record as Jayasuriya had as skipper from 1999-2000. The duo are the most successful Test captains for Sri Lanka.Besides his Test records, Jayawardene was an equally dangerous ODI batsman and scored 12650 runs in 448 matches at 33.37 with 19 hundreds and 77 fifties, making him the fifth highest run-getter in the format and again three places behind Sangakkara (14,234 runs in 404 ODIs).In his last Test, Jayawardene scored 4 and 54 runs in two innings as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 105 runs at Colombo, the same place where he made his debut.With Sangakkara and Jayawardene in the team, Sri Lanka reached the top of the ODI and T20I rankings while occupying second place in the Test rankings. Once a great team revered all around world cricket, has now been reduced to the bottom-half of the table once the two legends retired.Jayawardene quit the Test format August 18 in 2014 while Sangakkara retired exactly a year later. Since then the Sri Lankan Test team has been on the decline with veterans Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath failing to inspire the team.Jayawardene getting a guard of honour (Reuters Photo)They lost their second consecutive home series against India recently, having lost 1-2 in 2015 as well and a month prior to that they finished last in Group B in the ICC Champions Trophy having won just one match out of three in the eight-team event. In March Zimbabwe visited the country and stunned Mathews’ team 3-2 in the five-match ODI series.Sri Lankan supporters have been growing impatient at the appalling rate at which their cricket team’s decline has taken place but credit to the fans for they still haven’t stopped supporting the team even after witnessing so many losses in the last couple of years.But they deserve way better than the quality of cricket the team has dished out off late. Every team goes through a transitional phase when experienced players retire from the sport but Sri Lanka’s worries just don’t seem to end. Fitness is another key issue which their players have been struggling with which has added to their poor performance in all formats.This great nation needs to find inspiration from somewhere which can help them control their decline. A team which had the fearsome duo of Sanga, Mahela along with some great names like Jayasuriya, Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva before them, is now left completely directionless.last_img read more


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first_imgOTTAWA – Parliamentary budget officer Jean-Denis Frechette’s latest report on the Liberal government’s infrastructure spending program highlights further delays in the spending plan. Here are some key numbers from the report:$186.7 billion: Value of federal infrastructure spending over 12 years$14.4 billion: Value of spending under the first phase of the infrastructure program32: Federal organizations responsible for Phase 1 of infrastructure spending10,052: Projects identified by the PBO report, which qualified the total by saying it is not a full inventory of Phase 1 projects$7.2 billion: Value of those projects, about half of the total planned spending8,800: Projects approved in fiscal year 2016-171,300: Projects approved in fiscal year 2017-181,667: Approved projects that to do not have a federal contribution identified6,000: Projects with identifiable start dates1,300: Projects that are scheduled to begin after 20180.1: Per cent increase in GDP in each of the two fiscal years covered in the report11,100: Maximum estimated number of jobs federal infrastructure spending has created between April 2017 and March 2018last_img read more