PM New Year speech to chart note ban roadmap Con­gress, NCP will go solo for BMC elec­tions

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­ HT Cor­re­spon­dents ht­[email protected]­dus­tan­

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will ad­dress the na­tion on New Year’s eve, a day af­ter the dead­line for de­posit­ing scrapped notes ex­pires. This will be his sec­ond tele­vi­sion ad­dress in as many months, the first was the de­mon­eti­sa­tion an­nounce­ment.

On De­cem­ber 31, Modi, said sources, was ex­pected to thank the peo­ple again for bear­ing hard­ships brought in by the re­call of `500 and `1,000 ban­knotes that trig­gered a cash crunch and a bit­ter war with the Op­po­si­tion. He could also un­veil a roadmap to push cash­less econ­omy.

“This fash­ion of re­duc­ing any talk of cor­rup­tion to pol­i­tics is a dan­ger­ous trap. It cre­ates a cover for many oth­ers guilty of the same to get away with it. But, this doesn’t mean I con­done cor­rup­tion in pol­i­tics,” Modi told In­dia To­day mag­a­zine in an in­ter­view on Thurs­day.

The up­com­ing Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) elec­tions are likely to be multi-cornered. Rea­son: The Con­gress and the Na­tion­al­ist Con­gress Party (NCP) on Thurs­day said they would be go­ing solo.

Go­ing a step ahead, the NCP even de­clared its first list of 45 can­di­dates, show­ing that it will not wait for al­liance talks with the Con­gress or other like-minded par­ties. The party also said it will de­clare the rest of the can­di­dates by next month. In re­sponse, the Mum­bai Con­gress said it had no plans to forge an al­liance with the NCP.

The de­ci­sion of the two erst­while al­liance part­ners, who ran the state govern­ment to­gether for 15 years, could lead to a di­vi­sion of their votes be­cause both have an anti-BJP, anti-Shiv Sena voter base.

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