congress

Congress : Now ‘One family, One ticket’ rule, says Rahul Gandhi at Nav Sankalp Shivir

Udaipur (Rajasthan) [India]- Hours after the Congress Working Board (CWC) gave its authorization to the organisational reforms, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday insisted that ‘one family, one ticket’ rule should be applied in the pary from now onwards.
Dealing with the wrapping up session of the ‘Nav Sankalp Shivir’ being held in Udaipur, Rahul Gandhi stated, “We should make certain the suggestion that individual per family should get a ticket (to fight elections). I additionally advise the inclusion of the youth in the Congress party. Likewise, just one participant of a family should be provided a ticket.”

The Udaipur Nav Sankalp Shivir declaration has been taken on by the CWC at its conference commanded by president Sonia Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi discussed issues with grassroot level leaders

” It is extremely important that we limit the number of member of the family that are involved in our party, as well as let them function as well as let them join the organization. However we must not have a scenario where 5-7 participants of a family members are in the organization and also getting tckets for elections. ,” stated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

On May 13, Congress had actually placed a motion on the ‘one family members, one ticket’ proposition mooted by a panel established for the Udaipur Chintan Shivir.

The primary condition is that loved ones of Congress leaders that desire to contest elections should have worked for the party for at the very least 5 years.

Gandhi said, “The formula will not be used if the 2nd member from a family members is proactively working for the party for at the very least five years.”

The ‘organisation’ panel has made numerous pointers consisting of the tenures of AICC office-bearers and other issues.  The information on the ‘one household, one ticket’ idea clears the way for leaders who might have been neglected of the race for election tickets.

From Gandhi Family, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, that had stayed behind the curtains before joining national politics, was appointed party general secretary in 2018 and also will certainly be finishing 6 years in her brand-new duty when basic political elections are in 2024.

The three-day Navsankalp Shivir began in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. Six committees have actually been established and 430 leaders discussed strategies to take on emerging challenges.

No magic wands, Unity and Determination is the Mantra : Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: Noting that there are no magic wands for electoral success, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday urged party leaders to ensure that the single over-riding message to come from the party’s three-day Chintan Shivir in Udaipur is “of unity, cohesion, determination and commitment to party’s accelerated revival”.

In her opening remarks at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee here, Sonia Gandhi called for selfless work, discipline and a sense of consistent collective purpose to demonstrate the party’s tenacity and resilience amid the political challenges.
She said self-criticism is needed but it should not be done in a manner that erodes self-confidence.

The Congress chief also said that the chintan shivir should herald a restructured organization to meet the many ideological, electoral and managerial tasks faced by the party.

Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi discuss Challenges ahead for Congress

“I request your full cooperation in ensuring that the single over-riding message that goes forth loud and clear from Udaipur is one of unity, cohesion, determination and commitment to our party’s accelerated revival,” she said.

“There are no magic wands. It is only with selfless work, discipline and a sense of consistent collective purpose that we will demonstrate our tenacity and resilience. The party has been central to the life of each and every one of us. It has expected our total allegiance and has been good to each and every one of us. Now, when we are at a crucial juncture, it is imperative that we step forward and repay our debt to the party in full measure,” she added.

This chintan shivir is being held in Udaipur from May 13 to 15 and around 400 Congress leaders will participate. Sonia Gandhi said efforts have been made to ensure balanced representation.

The party will hold discussions on political, economic, social justice, farmers, youth and organizational issues and adopt Udaipur Nav Sankalp.

“Self-criticism is of course needed in our party forums. But this should not be done in a manner that erodes self-confidence and morale and an atmosphere of gloom and doom prevails. To the contrary, we are beholden to put our heads together and together, collectively overcome the challenges that face us,” the Congress chief said.

“This requires that the Chintan Shivir does not become a ritual, something we must just get through. I am determined that it should herald a restructured organization to meet the many ideological, electoral and managerial tasks we confront,” she added.

Sonia Gandhi also referred to the amendment in the party’s constitution concerning digital membership. (ANI)

Congress Committee to meet on May 9 to discuss agenda of Nav Sankalp Shivir

New Delhi [India]- A meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be held on May 9 ahead of the party’s ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur.

The meeting would deliberate on the agenda for the Chintan Shivir. “A meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be held on Monday, the 9th May 2022 at 04.30 PM at AICC Office, 24 Akbar Road, New Delhi, to discuss about the “Nav Sankalp Shivir – 2022″ to be held from 13th to 15th May, 2022 at Udaipur, Rajasthan,” party general secretary KC Venugopal said in a tweet.
The Chintan Shivir is being held in the backdrop of the party’s drubbing in the elections to five state assemblies earlier this year. The party has witnessed several electoral losses in the elections held in the past eight years. Congress has also seen the exit of some of its prominent faces.

Following a presentation and discussions with poll strategist Prashant Kishor, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had constituted an Empowered Action Group 2024 last month and invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility.

He had declined the “generous offer” and said that “more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms”.

The Congress will also be going for organisational polls this year to elect a new party chief.

(ANI)

Biden fumbles on word ‘kleptocracy’ during address to Congress, Twitter flooded

Washington [US]: US President Joe Biden fumbled on the word “kleptocracy” during an address to the US Congress on Thursday, when he was seeking an additional $33 billion in aid to Ukraine and following the lapse, Twitter was flooded with reactions to his stuttering.

Tom Cotton, US Senator for Arkansas posted a clip of the speech on his Twitter handle, and captioned it as “Alarming”. In the clip, Biden can be seen fumbling with the word kleptocracy. After, two or three attempts he seemingly gets it correct. The video has garnered about 37,000 likes and over three million views on Twitter.
“We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains of Putin’s kleptoc- yeah – kleptocracy and klep- the guys who are the kleptocracies,” said Biden while addressing the US Congress.

Earlier, the US President mistakenly used the word “accommodate” while mentioning the Russian oligarchs. Still fumbling with words, Biden said that the US will “make sure we take their – take their ill-begotten gains.”

Twitterati were divided in their opinions. While some pointed out Biden’s speech defect and mocked at him, a few of them were defensive.

Exec Director of America Matters & former Army Special Forces Weapons, Jim Hanson responded to Tom Cotton, with the caption “America deserves better” in a tweet. Another Twitter user also agreed with the Senator that Biden’s speech was indeed alarming.

However, another Twitterati slammed Cotton by giving a befitting replying to his tweet which reads that a Senator mocking a President is even more alarming.

“A senator mocking someone’s stutter? Yeah, that is pretty alarming. Thanks for showing everyone quite clearly who you are,” the user commented.

“You know he has a speech impediment, right? It’s pretty publicly known. Are you mocking that?” wrote a third Twitter user. (ANI)

 

More than me, Congress needs leadership, collective will to fix problems: Prashant Kishor

New Delhi [India]: After declining the offer to join the Congress, poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Tuesday said that the party needs “leadership and collective will” to fix deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms.

Taking to Twitter, Kishor said, “I declined the generous offer of Congress to join the party as part of the Empowered Action Group (EAG) and take responsibility for the elections. In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms.”
Kishor has held several meetings in the last 15 days with Congress’s top leadership and gave a proposal to revamp the party ahead of the 2024 general election. Kishor had given a detailed presentation with a road map for the 2024 General elections.

Following the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in October last year, Kishor had said that the people are looking forward to an opposition led by the Grand Old Party (the Congress), but the party first needs to fix its deep-rooted problems and remove its structural weaknesses.

“People looking for a quick, spontaneous revival of GOP-led opposition based on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident are setting themselves up for a big disappointment. Unfortunately, there are no quick-fix solutions to the deep-rooted problems and structural weakness of GOP,” Kishor had said in a tweet.

Earlier today, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi constituted an Empowered Action Group 2024 and invited Kishor to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility but he declined.

“Following a presentation and discussions with Prashant Kishor, Congress President has constituted a Empowered Action Group 2024 and invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. He declined. We appreciate his efforts and suggestion given to party,” Surjewala tweeted.

This came after the Congress panel set up by president Sonia Gandhi to work out a revival plan, as suggested by poll strategist Prashant Kishor, submitted a report on its findings on Friday.

Sources told ANI that Kishor, in his presentation to Congress leadership, suggested that Congress should fight alone in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, and it should form alliances in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra to which Rahul Gandhi has agreed.

Kishor is learnt to have said that Congress should focus on 370 Lok Sabha constituencies for the 2024 general elections.

After the recent poll debacle in five states, Congress was holding negotiations with Kishor. The results of five Assembly polls came as a shock to Congress which was hoping to do well to revive its prospects for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and to fend off the emerging challenge from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress to replace it as the fulcrum of anti-BJP politics in the country.

Earlier, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has openly praised Prashant Kishor, saying that he is a “brand”. Senior Congress leader Veerapa Moily has said that those opposing Kishor’s entry to the party are “anti-reformers”. (ANI)

Hardik Patel dismisses rumours of his joining BJP, but upset with his party

Tapi (Gujarat) [India]: Amid speculation of his joining the BJP, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president Hardik Patel on Monday dismissed the rumours saying he has no such plans and said that he is upset with the state party leadership.

“People will say a lot of things. When Joe Biden won the US elections, I praised him. This is because his vice president is of Indian origin. But does this mean I will join Biden’s party?” he said while speaking to the media.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president is reportedly unhappy with the party and has, in recent days, praised the ruling BJP. He lauded the BJP for revoking Article 370 and the construction of Ram Mandir. The Congress leader said that such decisions of the party should be commended.

Issuing a clarification about his praise for the BJP, the Congress leader said, “If a rival has a good quality, then, in politics, we will have to think about it. If they make bold decisions, we will also have to make bold decisions. If you waste your time, then people will leave you. There are many young people who want to work for the party. I openly wish that such youngsters should get an opportunity”.

Patel further said that he is not upset with party leaders Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi but he is upset with the state leadership.

“I am not upset with Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi. I am upset with the state leadership. Why am I upset? Elections are coming up and in such times work should be done together with honest and strong people. They should be given positions,” he added.

The Congress leader said that there are a lot of youngsters who want to work for the party and help it flourish and demanded that such youngsters should be given a decent space in the party.

“People who work at the rural level to strengthen the party should be given opportunities. It is poll time, go to villages, work hard in cities. As far as being upset is concerned, questions come up in a family and talks are held. I clarified earlier too to not spread rumours,” Patel added.

Hardik Patel emerged as the leader of the Patidar agitation demanding reservation for the community in Gujarat in 2015 and later joined Congress. (ANI)

2024 polls: Sonia Gandhi brainstorms roadmap with Prashant Kishor

New Delhi [India]: Gearing up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Congress top brass, including interim president Sonia Gandhi, is holding another meeting with poll strategist Prashant Kishor here on Tuesday.

Sources said that Congress leaders, including Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, AK Antony, Ambika Soni and Randeep Surjewala, are also taking part in the meeting at Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence.
This is the third meeting between Sonia Gandhi and Prashant Kishor in the last four days amid speculation that the poll strategist may join the Congress. The first meeting took place on April 16 while the second was held on April 18.

According to the sources, two more such meetings are scheduled in the coming days.

Earlier, Venugopal had said that Kishor had given a detailed presentation with a road map for the 2024 General elections.

Answering queries, he said the role of Kishor in the Congress party will be known within a week.

Sources told ANI that Kishor, in his presentation, suggested that Congress should fight alone in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, and it should form alliances in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra to which Rahul Gandhi has agreed.

Kishor is learnt to have said that Congress should focus on 370 Lok Sabha constituencies for the 2024 general elections.

These meetings are also taking place in the backdrop of Congress’ poll preparations for Gujarat and Himachal Assembly elections this year.

After the recent poll debacle in five states, Congress is seeking to restart negotiations with Kishor. The results of five Assembly polls came as a shock to Congress which was hoping to do well to revive its prospects for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and to fend off the emerging challenge from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress to replace it as the fulcrum of anti-BJP politics in the country. (ANI)

Congress slams KCR on paddy procurement, Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Kisan Sangarsh Sabha’ on May 6

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Telangana (Hyderabad) [India], April 17 (ANI): Hitting out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao over the paddy procurement row, former Congress MP Madhu Yashki on Saturday said that party leader Rahul Gandhi’s “Kisan Sangarsh Sabha” in Warangal will expose “nexus” between Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Rahul Gandhi’s trip has been finalised. On May 6, he is visiting Warangal, we are going to have a Raithu Sagarshana Sabha. The farmers have been looted by CM K Chandrashekar Rao, he made false promises of Rs 1 lakh loan waiver and paddy procurement. He asked the farmer not to sow paddy during this season. After two months of protest now, he decided to procure paddy. BJP and TRS looting the Telangana farmers,” Yashki said.
Gandhi’s public rally is going to attend will expose the “TRS-BJP nexus” and particularly the “loot” by the Kalvakuntla family in Telangana, he added.

The Congress leader said that the party will highlight unemployment, corruption, and the education issues which CM never discussed.

Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Telangana on May 6 and 7 to participate in a ‘Kisan Sangarsh Sabha’ in Warangal. (ANI)

 

Rahul Gandhi to meet Telangana Congress leaders today, Assembly elections, Paddy procurement top agenda

 

New Delhi [India], April 4 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will meet party leaders of Telangana today in the evening and discuss the political situation prevailing along with brainstorming on the Assembly elections scheduled next year in the state, said the sources.

Discussion over the Paddy procurement issue will also be on the top agenda of the meeting.
The meeting with the senior leaders of the party will take place at Rahul Gandhi’s residence.

This is Rahul Gandhi’s second meeting with the Telangana party leaders in the last seven days. The meeting comes at a time when state Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is nourishing his national ambitions and calling on the parties to form a non-BJP and non-Congress alliance for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Notably, in the last Assembly elections in 2018 in Telangana, Congress had an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party, however, could not stop the return of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s KCR government.

Earlier last month, Telangana Congress chief Revanth Reddy dismissed possibilities of forging an alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi party and said the grand old party will form an alliance with any party but Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s as “he is not trustworthy”.

“Congress would not forge an alliance with KCR and his party TRS at any cost because he is not trustworthy. We have seen him in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019. We can trust any other leader or party, but not KCR and TRS,” Reddy told ANI. (ANI)

Rahul Gandhi to meet Haryana Congress leaders on March 25

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will hold a meeting with senior party leaders of Haryana on March 25 to discuss programmes and strategies as part of preparations for assembly polls in 2024, sources said.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, AICC in-charge of state Vivek Bansal, party general secretary Randeep Surjewala, state party chief Kumari Selja, party MP Deepender Hooda and party leader Captain Ajay Yadav will be among those present in the meeting, the sources said.
They said senior leaders from the state have been called to the meeting to discuss and formulate strategies for the assembly polls. The Congress has lost two consecutive assembly polls in Haryana and fared poorly in the Lok Sabha polls also.

Having faced drubbing in assembly polls in five states, the Congress is keen to start preparing early for the forthcoming polls.

At the meeting of Congress Working Committee meeting (CWC) held to review the party’s performance in the assembly polls, some leaders are believed to have emphasised that changes in the organisation should be made at least one year ahead of elections.

A meeting of Congress leaders from Haryana was also held at 15, Gurdwara Rakabganj Road earlier this month. (ANI)

Sonia Gandhi meets Himachal Cong leaders, advises to stay united for polls

New Delhi [India]: After the poll debacle faced by Congress in Punjab due to infighting, party president Sonia Gandhi asked leaders of Himachal Pradesh to avoid a Punjab-like situation and stay united as the state goes to Assembly polls later this year, said sources.

According to sources, Sonia Gandhi took a jibe on party leaders, “You all are sitting together right but otherwise you don’t even talk to each other.”
Congress Himachal Pradesh in-charge Rajiv Shukla was also present in the meeting.

Having lost Punjab to Aam Aadmi Party, Congress leaders briefed Sonia Gandhi about the present position of AAP in Himachal Pradesh.

“AAP is not an issue in Himachal Pradesh. Only those people who will not get tickets from BJP or Congress will contest from AAP’s ticket,” said Rajiv Shukla.

Sonia Gandhi deliberated on the AAP position in the state with the party leaders and asked them to prepare a poll strategy to take on rivals.

“All leaders from Himachal Pradesh promised Sonia Gandhi that they will remain united and a situation like Punjab will not be repeated there. Party leaders assured AICC president that state leaders will accept whatever decision the central leadership takes,” said sources.

Sources say that state party president and legislature party leader can also be changed if the situation demands.

“Central leadership is not changing any officer bearers right now but the option is open,” sources added.

The Congress had done well in the bypolls held in Himachal Pradesh last year, winning the Mandi Lok Sabha seat and three assembly seats. The party is trying to repeat this success in the upcoming assembly polls.

It was also decided in the meeting that the results party witnessed in the Mandi Lok Sabha seat and three other assembly seats will only be repeated if the party moves ahead together with a full proof strategy to take on the BJP.

After the demise of Virbhadra Singh, Congress is witnessing a vacuum in the top leadership in the state. There are many leaders trying to take the position of party’s face in the hilly state but Anand Sharma is being seen as a frontrunner for that post.

However, his being a part of G-23 might emerge as a barrier for his candidature to lead the Congress in Himachal Pradesh.

The 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly is due for polls in October this year. (ANI)

G23 suggested Mukul Wasnik for Congress chief post

New Delhi [India]- While Congress Working Committee on Sunday evening is slated to discuss the drubbing in the recently concluded Assembly elections, sources said that the dissident group within the party, G23, had suggested Mukul Wasnik for the post of president of the party, which was not accepted.

Sources said, “G23, which consists of Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, had suggested Mukul Wasnik’s name for the post of president of the party. But it was not accepted.”
The source, who is a part of G23, also said that the new party president should lead the party in the manner as was done by Sonia Gandhi in early 2000.

The source added, “Though Sonia Gandhi is the (interim) president, it is virtually (being) run by KC Venugopal, Ajay Maken and Randeep Surjewala. There is no accountability fixed on them.”

“Rahul Gandhi is not the president. But he operates from behind the scene and takes decisions. He does not communicate openly. We are party’s well-wishers and not enemies,” added the source. (ANI)

 

Congress Working Committee to discuss poll debacle in five States today

New Delhi [India]: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is scheduled to meet on Sunday to discuss the poll debacle in five States and the current political situation.

The meeting will be held at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office at 4 pm.
While Congress G-23 leaders, who are members of the Congress Working Committee, are set to raise their demand for reforms in the party during the CWC meeting, sources said on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Congress G23 met at senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence in the national capital.

Congress leaders Bhupender Singh Hooda, Manish Tewari, Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma, Akhilesh Prasad Singh were present at the meeting.

The results of five assembly polls came as a shock to the Congress which was hoping to do well to revive its prospects for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and to fend off the emerging challenge from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress to replace it as the fulcrum of anti-BJP politics in the country. (ANI)

 

Loss in five states, AAP’s rise in Punjab exacerbate challenges for Congress

By Prashant Sood

New Delhi [India]: The results of five assembly polls came as a shock to the Congress which was hoping to do well to revive its prospects for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and to fend off the emerging challenge from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress to replace it as the fulcrum of anti-BJP politics in the country.
The Congress was on the right side of “anti-incumbency” in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur as it was the major opponent of the ruling BJP in these states. And in the electorally-crucial Uttar Pradesh, the party was hoping to turn the tide in the election effort led by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Congress leaders also strongly spoke against the farm laws which were eventually repealed by the Centre. The party was reduced to a historic low in Uttar Pradesh, making the task of its revival even more difficult if not impossible.

The rise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab is another worrying signal for Congress. The Congress finds it difficult to revive itself in a contest that has strong local players and the BJP, Delhi being the latest example. Now with AAP sweeping Punjab and top leaders of Congress including Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and state PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu losing their seats, the task of revival in Punjab will also be a big challenge.

With their success in Punjab, AAP leaders are talking about the party being a “national force” and it emerging as a “national and natural replacement” of Congress. They also say that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “will be the principal challenger of the BJP” in the future. AAP leader Raghav Chadha has talked about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “being in bigger role of Prime Minister in 2024 if people give an opportunity”.

The Trinamool Congress leaders want to see West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this role and she has talked about the need of broad opposition unity against the BJP. She has met leaders of Shiv Sena and NCP and has also interacted with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. There appears to be competition as also churning in opposition ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls and both AAP and Trinamool Congress are keen to be seen as the prime challengers of BJP, a role that Congress has been espousing so far.

The BSP’s decimation in the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh also points to the party’s dwindling strength and polity in the state getting increasingly bipolar between the alliances led by BJP and Samajwadi Party.

Congress will hold a meeting of its working committee soon to analyse the election results. Upset over the results, Congress G-23 leaders, who had written to Sonia Gandhi seeking widespread reforms including elections at various levels, are slated to meet in the next 48 hours.

Party leader Shashi Tharoor, a member of G-23, on Thursday called for reforming the party’s “organisational leadership in a manner that will reignite those ideas and inspire the people”. “One thing is clear — Change is unavoidable if we need to succeed,” he said in a tweet.

The Congress has to elect a president at the culmination of organisational elections this year and the poll outcome will cast a shadow on the process. It remains to be seen if suggestions continue to be made by a section of the party for Rahul Gandhi to again take up the role.

Rahul Gandhi, who lost the Lok Sabha election from Amethi in 2019 and won from Wayanad, said on Thursday that the Congress will learn from the poll results “and keep working for the interests of the people of India”.

The Congress has seen some of its young promising leaders and even a few among the old guard leaving the party over the past several months.

While BJP increased its vote share in Uttar Pradesh in this poll, the Congress vote share declined though it was fighting almost all 403 seats after a long gap. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra gave 40 per cent tickets to women candidates and held nearly 200 rallies and roadshows in UP. The party also came up with a youth manifesto. The party won just two seats and 2.33 per cent votes compared to seven seats it won in 2017 when it had fought on 114 seats as part of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The Congress had got 6.25 per cent vote in the previous assembly election.

Congress had won 28 seats with 11.65 per cent votes in 2012 assembly polls and 22 seats with 8.61 per cent votes in 2007.

The Congress indicated on Thursday that the clashing ambitions of its leaders had hurt the party’s prospects.

Party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said there was need to “seriously introspect, re-examine, re-think” whether the race for political positions “is undermining the position of the party to an extent where we end up helping the cause of our opposition and where we end up causing loss to the Congress party”.

He said this question needs to be answered “not only in Punjab, not only in Uttarakhand, not only in Goa, but across the country”.

Surjewala also talked of anti-incumbency in Punjab, which was ruled by Congress.

“In Punjab, Congress presented a new leadership through Charanjit Singh Channi who is the son of the soil, but the entire anti-incumbency of 4.5 years under Captain Amarinder Singh could not be overcome and hence people voted for AAP for change,” he said.

In the results of five elections declared on Thursday, Congress won 18 seats in Punjab, 19 in Uttarakhand, 11 in Goa, and five seats in Manipur.

Congress will face a tough test this year in assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The party has not been able to oust BJP from power for over two decades in Gujarat though it put up a spirited fight in the last polls. In Himachal Pradesh, BJP will seek to buck the pattern of alternate turns at power and replicate its victory in Uttarakhand. Apart from putting its house in order in the two states, Congress will also have to watch for challenges from a resurgent AAP. (ANI)

 

Congress slams Modi govt in RS over ‘inflation, Chinese incursion, action against Christianity’

                

New Delhi [India], : Taking part in the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, the Congress on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government in Rajya Sabha on issues of “inflation, Chinese incursion and the attack on Christianity”.

Speaking on behalf of his party, Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, Mallikarjun Kharge took a dig at the Modi government, asking “there is inflation at one side and unemployment on another side. Is this ‘achche din’ (good days)?”
In his nearly one our speech in the House, Kharge commented “rates of all essential commodities like pulses, vegetables, LPG have increased manifold; there is no employment; the country is on 101 position in hunger index, but there are ‘achche din’ (good days)”.

The Congress leader was attacking on Modi government referring to its well known ‘achche din’ promises made to the people by the Prime Minister himself as well as in statements of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and Ministers in the Central government.

“Curent rate of pulses is increased by 60 per cent so as of vegetables by 50-80 per cent. LPG cylinders price has reached to Rs 1,000 in the present time from Rs 414 in 2013. In 116 countries, India is on 101 place in hunger Index,” said Kharge, asking “Is this your ‘achche din’?”

Referring to an event in 2013, Kharge said PM Modi had advised then UPA government to show “red eyes” against China when it attempted incursion, and asked, “why the Central government is silent and not showing red eyes despite of multiple reports of Chinese incursion?”

Attacking Prime Minister Modi, who was present in the House during the speech, Kharge said import with China has currently reached to Rs 7 lakh 30 thousand crores compared to 2013 when it was Rs 3 lakh 80 thousand crores.

“Our import with China is four-time higher than export,” Kharge said, asking “should we call it self-reliance or dependency on China?”

Noting abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the LoP said over 500 terrorist incidents have happened since then.

The Congress leader said that all the promises made by the Modi government have been failing one by one. “It was promised by Modi government to gear up manufacturing by 24 per cent but it currently stands at -7.2 per cent.”

The leader said that assured jobs are old days now as the Modi government has been focusing on contract-based employment. He also took a dig at the Modi government over its promise to double farmers’ income and said President’s address even doesn’t mention about the issue.

In a veiled remark without taking name, Kharge also demanded the Modi government to sack one Minister of its cabinet holding charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) mentioning the involvement of his son in killing four farmers.

It was a clear remark on Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni whose son is accused of killing farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh last year by crushing them under the wheels of a car owned by him.

Kharge also condemned the Modi government’s recent action against Mother Teresa and other Christian Missionaries under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Finally, the Congress leader demanded to public details of the PM Cares Fund which was started by the Central government keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected. image (instagram)

Assam: Congress-led alliance ‘Mahajot’ disintegrates within a year of its formation

Dispur (Assam) [India] (ANI): As the Congress-led alliance ‘Mahajot’ has disintegrated within a year of its formation, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that the BJP has admitted Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) as a partner of the party in the Legislative Assembly.
Notably, before the exit of BPF from the Mahajot, Congress broke its alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). “From today, we have admitted the Bodoland People’s Front as one of the partner parties of BJP within the Assam Legislative Assembly. We will have total floor coordination with BPF as well as they will be sitting in the ruling party’s portion in the Assam assembly,” Sarma said.
However, Sarma also added that so far, the friendship will be confined to the assembly and will not extend to a political level.
“This friendship will be confined to the assembly but at a political level, we have not taken any such decision. This decision has been taken only at the level of a legislature party,” he said.
“BJP has not formed an alliance with BPF; the BJP Legislature Party and BPF Legislature Party will work together. On this, I have also taken consent from United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and have discussed with them also. They have no objection to this new formation,” the Chief Minister said.
“So, the total strength of BJP and its friendly legislature parties is now 82 in the Assam assembly,” Sarma added.
The BPF had severed ties with BJP in February last year, just before the assembly polls in Assam and joined the grand alliance led by Congress.
Later, BPF quit the Congress-led grand alliance too.
In the Assam assembly polls, the grand alliance of Congress, AIUDF, BPF, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had won 50 seats.
Congress managed to secure 29 seats (29.7 per cent vote share) while AIUDF won 16, and Bodoland People’s Front bagged four. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) secured one seat. (Image source: Instagram)

2022 Assembly polls: Congress will fight for the rights of farmers, common people, says Priyanka Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: Soon after the announcement of the schedule for the Assembly elections in five states, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday said that the Congress party will fight for the rights of youth, farmers, women, workers, traders and common people.
“On March 10, there will be a victory march for the youth, farmers, women, workers, traders and common people of UP. In these elections, the Congress party will fight for the rights of youth, farmers, women, workers, traders and common people. UP will fight and will win,” she tweeted. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also the Congress-incharge of Uttar Pradesh.
The Election Commission on Saturday announced poll dates for five states with Uttar Pradesh going for a seven-phase assembly election from February 10, Manipur to go for a two-phase election from February 27 and Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand to face elections on February 14.
The counting of votes in all states will take place on March 10.
The poll dates were announced by CEC Sushil Chandra at a press conference here. With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into force.
The seven-phase election in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.
Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will go for polls on February 14 along with the second phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.
The polling in Manipur on Feb 27 and March 3 will coincide with the fifth and sixth phases of the Uttar Pradesh election.
Sushil Chandra also announced the COVID-19 norms concerning the elections.
The poll dates were announced by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra at a press conference here. With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into force.
Of the five states going for polls, Congress is in power in Punjab whereas Bharatiya Janata Party is in power in other four states.

35 per cent of adult population yet to be vaccinated, says Congress

New Delhi [India]: With the number of Omicron cases rising in India, the Congress attacked the Centre and asked by when the government is intending to vaccinate the remaining 35 per cent of the adult population of the country.
Speaking at the press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “According to the PIB data and affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court, around 36 crore of the eligible population is yet to receive the second dose of COVID dose while 11 crores to get both the doses. By when the government will inoculate this population? The government had promised to vaccinate the adult population by December 31. However, it has not fulfilled the promise.” Congress said that the government plans to provide jabs to children aged 15 to 18 and booster shots for health workers, frontline workers and those above 60 years with comorbid conditions. “For this vaccination drive, there are around 25.69 eligible people and to inoculate them is a requirement of 35.70 crore additional doses when there is already a shortage of anti-COVID doses in the country.”
The Congress party also questioned why the government is administering vaccines to children between the age group of 15 and 18 when some countries across the globe have started inoculating children above three years of age.

Amarinder Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur skips Punjab Cong MPs crucial meet with Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: Congress MP and wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Preneet Kaur missed a crucial meeting called by Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath on Thursday.
Congress MP Preneet Kaur remained absent in yesterday’s meeting where all Punjab MP’s were present. Those who attended the meeting at Sonia Gandhi’s residence include Pratap Singh Bajwa, Amar Singh, Manish Tewari, Santokh Chaudhary, Gurjeet Singh Aujla, and Ravneet Singh Bittu. Meeting went on for around one hour, sources said.
The party had last month issued a notice to the Patiala MP seeking an explanation for her alleged “anti-party activities” and open announcements about siding with her husband, Amarinder Singh, who quit the Congress party.
While Punjab Assembly elections are just months away, Kaur has chosen to skip all the vital meetings with party high command in the national capital. Congress has started gearing up for the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab.

Karnataka: Congress will oppose anti-conversion bill tooth and nail, says DK Shivakumar

Belagavi (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said that his party oppose the anti-conversion bill tooth and nail.
“I will tear the Bill, it is against the Constitution. We wanted to stop it before its introduction. They have to go by the majority, but the Speaker joined hands with the government. We will oppose it tooth and nail,” said Shivakumar opposing the anti-conversion Bill in Belagavi, Karnataka. Earlier today, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra tabled the anti-conversion bill in the state Legislative Assembly.
The Karnataka Assembly Speaker announced that he has allowed the government to introduce the anti-conversion bill as per the procedure, and it will be taken up for discussion on December 22.
Congress is opposing the bill tabled by the Karnataka Government and staged a walkout from the assembly. Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar tore the copy of the Bill inside the House.
However, Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) HD Kumaraswamy earlier said that his party won’t support the anti-conversion Bill in the Karnataka Assembly.
Belagavi Bishop Derek Fernandes has also slammed the Karnataka’s government’s proposed anti-conversion bill, terming it a hate campaign against Christians.
Earlier on December 14, Leader of Opposition in Karnataka assembly and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that the anti-conversion law is being brought to target a particular religion.
“There is already a law to stop forceful conversion. Let the government take action in case of any forceful conversion. This law (proposed anti-conversion bill) is being brought to target a particular religion. Congress will oppose it tooth and nail,” Siddaramaiah told media.
Meanwhile, the State Home Minister said that there is no need for anybody to live in fear due to this bill.
The Bill will provide for the protection of the right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means. It proposes imprisonment up to 10 years for forced religious conversion.

Ahead of UP assembly polls, Priyanka Gandhi promises jobs for 20 lakh youth

Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: From waiving off loans for all farmers and providing jobs for 20 lakh youth, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday made several promises to the people of Uttar Pradesh if her party was voted to power in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.
Addressing a rally here, Priyanka Gandhi said, “Congress will waive off loans for all farmers and small businessmen, half the electricity bills, give employment to 20 lakh youth and Rs 25,000 to all the families who suffered due to COVID-19.” “In case of disease, the government will provide healthcare of Rs 10,000. To politically empower women, 40 per cent tickets will be given to them. Girl students will get smartphones and scooty to empower them and for their security,” she said adding the present government has led people astray.
In presence of her brother and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi also hit out at the BJP government and said that they have been “spreading a web of lies” ever since they formed the government both at the Centre and the state.
Amethi had been a Congress bastion and Rahul Gandhi had represented Amethi for 15 years in Lok Sabha before he was defeated from the constituency in the year 2019. He won from Wayanad in Kerala from where he had simultaneously contested from.
The visit of the Congress leaders to Amethi comes ahead of Assembly polls in the state slated to be held early next year.

US Congress passes bill banning imports from China’s Xinjiang

Washington [US]: US Congress on Thursday passed a bill banning imports from China’s Xinjiang region over forced labour of the Uyghur Muslims.
This is likely to worsen tensions between Washington and Beijing. The Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act was passed in the Senate on Thursday by unanimous consent after being approved by the House of Representatives earlier this week, Kyodo News reported. It needs to be signed into law by President Joe Biden, which the White House said he will.
It requires U.S. customs authorities to presume goods manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labour and that they should be banned from import, except for items from importers that can provide clear evidence to the contrary.
“This Senate will not stay silent in the face of genocide against the Uyghur people,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted. “America will not stand for it, and the global community shouldn’t either.”
China has been rebuked globally for the crackdown on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Early this year, the United States become the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as “genocide”.

Rahul Gandhi, other Cong leaders move adjournment motion in LS over Lakhimpur Kheri incident

New Delhi [India]: Several Congress MPs in Lok Sabha, including Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday have moved an adjournment motion in the House over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident demanding the removal of Ajay Kumar Mishra as Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs.
MOS Home Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident which took the lives of eight people including four farmers, earlier in October. In his letter to Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi said, “I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance namely: the UP Police SIT report has highlighted that massacre of farmers at Lakhimpur was a pre-planned conspiracy and not a negligent act.”
“The SIT has recommended for the modification of the charges against all the accused. The Government should immediately sack the MoS Home Affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra and ensure justice is delivered to the families of the victims,” the Wayanad MP stated in his letter.
Speaking to ANI, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Rahul Gandhi has given an adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. We will demand that the Government sack the minister.”
“If PM Modi has even an iota of devotion for Ganga Mata, he must advise his minister (Ajay Misra Teni) to resign or he himself should decide and sack him. I think it will further enhance his image because he is working on an image makeover right now,” he added.
Other than Rahul Gandhi, Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh and Congres MP Manickam Tagore and Deepender Singh Hooda have also given the adjournment motion over the issue.
K Suresh demanded MoS Home Ajay Misra “to step down immediately so that a fair investigation is carried out (in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident), culprits are brought to book, and farmers are delivered justice.”
Suresh added, “Revelation of SIT that a planned conspiracy to murder farmers protesting in Tikunia (Lakhimpur Kheri) on 3 October and SIT seeking permission to book Ashish Mishra, is an expose of those behind the intentional attempt to murder protesting farmers.”
On October 3, a vehicle allegedly crushed down farmers who were protesting against the farm laws. Reportedly, the vehicle belonged to Ashish, who is the son of Union MoS Ajay Mishra.
Uttar Pradesh police have so far arrested three people including Ashish Mishra.

Opposition not allowed to raise issues in Parliament, says Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday termed the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs as the “symbol of the crushing of the voice of people of India” and said that the Opposition is not allowed to raise any issue of national importance in the Parliament.
Speaking to the media at the Vijay Chowk, the Wayanad MP said, “Suspension of 12 MPs is a symbol of the crushing of the voice of people of India. Their voices have been crushed. They have done nothing wrong. We are not allowed to discuss important issues in Parliament.” “Bill after Bill is being passed in Parliament in the din. This is not the way to run the Parliament. The Prime Minister doesn’t come to House. We are not allowed to raise any issue of national importance. It is the unfortunate killing of democracy,” he said.
The Congress leader further called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Rajya Sabha Chairman “just implementors” of a power that wants to steal farmers’ income.
“A minister killed farmers. The Prime Minister is aware of it. Truth is that 2-3 capitalists are against farmers… These MPs were not suspended by the Rajya Sabha chairman or the Prime Minister but by the power that wants to steal farmers’ income. The Prime Minister and the chairman are just implementors,” he added.
The Opposition leaders in both the Houses held a march from Parliament to Vijay Chowk demanding to revoke the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs.
Meanwhile, The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm on Tuesday as the Opposition parties disrupted proceedings of the House seeking revocation of suspension of 12 MPs from the House. The Upper House has witnessed continuous adjournment since the first day of the ongoing Winter Session over the suspension of the 12 members.
The winter session of Parliament began on November 29 and will continue till December 23.

Second round of polls begin for Nepali Congress’ presidency as Deuba fails to secure 50 per cent votes

Kathmandu [Nepal]: The polls for the election of the president of the Nepali Congress during the party’s ongoing General Convention is headed for the second round as the leading candidate and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba failed to secure over 50 per cent of total votes, reported The Himalayan Times.
In the five-way contest, Deuba scored the highest points with 2258 votes. However, he could not cross the 50 per cent mark which is a prerequisite to win the election. Deuba scored the highest points in the five-way contest with 2258 votes but could not cross the 50 per cent mark. While another Nepali Congress leader Shekhar Koirala was the second in the run with 1729 votes, the Nepali publication reported further.
While other prominent leaders Prakash Man Singh, Bimlendra Nidhi — secured below 500 votes.
The polls are now headed for the next round.
According to The Himalayan Times, it would be interesting to watch if the anti-Deuba panel will stand together in an alliance to give Shekhar Koirala a boost, or if there will be a change in the equation. The voting for the NC President run-off is expected to commence today itself.

LS passes bill to extend tenures of CBI, ED chiefs; opposition parties slam government

New Delhi [India]: Opposition parties in Lok Sabha on Thursday slammed the government over the bills to extend the tenures of Directors of CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) up to a maximum of five years saying that the extensions will be given on the “whims and fancies of the political executive” and will undermine the autonomy of the two institutions.
The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021 were passed with a voice vote by the House after a reply by Minister of State of Department of Personnel and Training Jitendra Singh. Moving the bills for passage in the House, the minister said that if an official or chief of a probe agency is investigating a case, it requires “a certain amount of continuity besides institutional continuity”.
He said the bills only have enabling provision particularly when the FATF has also suggested to different nations to improve their law enforcement authorities.
RSP’s NK Premchandran slammed the government for bringing ordinances for extending tenures of chiefs of CBI and ED.
He said that the ordinances were brought days before the start of the winter session.
The member said that the bill entails extension by a year at a time after completion of two years of the chiefs of the two organisations and it will be done “on the whims and fancies of the political executive of the government”.
“Definitely the political executive will decide, who shall be given extension, and who shall not be given extension,” he said.
Congress MP Manish Tewari said the minister had tried to pass off the bills as “ordinary amendment” but it is not a fixed tenure of five years.
“It is a drip tenure on extension. Secondly, the ripple effect of such a move down the line is going to completely and absolutely undermine the autonomy and the independence of these institutions. I would like to request the government, I would like to request the minister to please take these two bills back. Please restore the position to the status quo ante. Let the Director of CBI and the Director of Enforcement Directorate have a fixed tenure. You want to have a tenure of five years, there is no difficulty with that. You want to have a fixed tenure of three years, there is absolutely no difficulty with that,” he said.
Tewari said the CBI and ED chiefs should be “insulated, autonomous and not at the beck and call of the government, which is the problem with these two bills”.
He also referred to a pending matter in Supreme Court and urged the minister to look into the larger issues about the legality of the CBI.
“One day, it will come back to haunt us collectively. Please file an application in the Supreme Court and please ask them to once for all determine whether the CBI is a legal organisation or the CBI is an illegal organisation,” he said.
Members of several other opposition parties including DMK and TMC also opposed the bills.
The bills provide that the tenure of the Director may be extended by up to one year at a time, till the completion of five years from the initial appointment.

Priyanka Gandhi takes Congress leaders, MLAs from different states on board for upcoming UP polls

New Delhi [India]: In her stride towards ‘Mission Uttar Pradesh’, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will also be laying responsibilities to party leaders and MLAs from the different states for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.
Priyanka Gandhi held a meeting with leaders of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana at 15 Gurudwara Rakabganj Road in the national capital on Thursday. They will be given the responsibility of the Legislative Assemblies in the Uttar Pradesh polls. Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda and UP PCC chief Ajay Kumar Lallu were also present in the meeting.
After the meeting with Priyanka Gandhi, Congress MLA from Chhattisgarh Arun Vora said, “There was a wave of enthusiasm in the meeting. The whole country is looking towards Congress. Chhattisgarh MLAs will work with their full strength and will form the Congress government in Uttar Pradesh.”
He told that he will work as Priyanka’s associate. The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh is the observer.
Congress MLA from Chhattisgarh Kuldeep Juneja said that all Congress workers will fight together to form the party’s government in Uttar Pradesh. “Everyone has been called in Lucknow on December 15, then it will be decided who will be given which assembly. We will have to stay in Uttar Pradesh for two and a half months and work for the party,” Juneja said.
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said that a meeting of observers has been held.
“Priyanka is fighting on the road and chalking out the direction. Candidates have to work hard. There are signs of change. Congress workers are fighting, even Priyanka Gandhi was sent to jail four times. Congress will form the government in the state,” Lallu said.
According to sources, the Congress leaders from other states will be leaving for Uttar Pradesh after December 14 and will be there till the elections.

After ‘no UPA’ barb, Congress to launch all-out attack against Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee addressing a rally

New Delhi [India]: As several leaders from its fold joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the last few months, Congress has now decided to launch an all-out attack on the Mamata Banerjee-led party with its top leaders taking the charge.
Mamata’s “there is no UPA” remark after a meeting in Mumbai with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, an ally of Congress in Maharashtra, evoked a strong response from the party, currently being led by interim president Sonia Gandhi. At an event in Mumbai, the TMC chief said if all the regional parties come together then defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be very easy.
Trinamool Congress was once part of the UPA or United Progressive Alliance, an alliance of several parties including Congress that remained in power at the Centre for 10 years from 2004 to 2014 when the BJP came to power.
After the TMC’s landslide victory in West Bengal Assembly polls held earlier this year, Mamata is continuously pitching for a strong alternative at the national level but indirectly taking on Congress.
In a seeming attempt at pan-national expansion or alliance with “like minded-parties” ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, she has recently visited Delhi and Mumbai where she held a series of meetings with top leaders of various political outfits.
However, she didn’t meet Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi during her last visit.
Interestingly, during her Delhi visit in July this year, Mamata Banerjee had met Congress interim Chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
According to sources in the Congress party, the decision to attack Mamata was taken at a meeting held on Wednesday night. “There were discussions among the top leaders of Congress late night on Wednesday in which it has been decided that the party will now make big attacks against Mamata.”
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha termed the meeting between Mamata Banerjee and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar as a “pre-meditated conspiracy” to weaken the grand old party and alleged the TMC chief had become “BJP’s oxygen supplier.”
So far from Congress, its leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was taking the lead in vehemently criticising the TMC chief as he has an old feud with her in West Bengal. It may be noted that Congress and Left parties fought together in West Bengal Assembly polls against the TMC and the BJP.
Till now it has been the Congress’ strategy that there should be scope to improve relations in the name of Opposition unity. A section in the party has also been in favour of rapprochement with Mamata for a long time.
Sources said that the responsibility of making political attacks on Mamata has been tasked to top leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Digvijaya Singh and Randeep Surjewala.
They added that the special responsibility to Digvijaya Singh was given because he had been openly advocating coordination with leaders who left Congress like, Jagan Mohan Reddy, Sharad Pawar and K Chandrasekhar Rao from the high command.
Targeting the TMC chief, Youth Congress chief BV Srinivas wrote on Twitter, “Ask any question to Modi ji, you will be called a Deshdrohi.. Ask any question to Mamta Di, you will be called a Maoist… What’s the difference between both?”
Congress received a major jolt in Meghalaya after 12 of its MLAs out of 17 joined Trinamool Congress, making it the state’s main Opposition. One of the prominent figures of the new entrants includes former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma.
TMC has witnessed a steady stream of leaders joining its ranks after quitting from Congress in the last few months. In September, former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro joined TMC after resigning from the primary membership of Congress. Following Faleiro shift, nine other leaders from Congress also joined TMC, sources had informed.
Congress MP from Assam’s Silchar and ex-president of All India Mahila Congress, Sushmita Dev had joined the TMC in August this year. She has been assigned to look after TMC’s affairs in Tripura.
Moreover, Luizinho Faleiro and Sushmita Dev both were awarded Rajya Sabha seats after joining TMC.
Congress leader Kirti Azad and former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar also recently joined TMC. Tanwar was once a close aide of Rahul Gandhi.

Will protest at Jantar Mantar if Ambedkar statue not reinstalled in Hyderabad: Telangana Congress leader

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Senior Telangana Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao has demanded the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar, which was removed from Panjagutta Centre in the city in April 2019, should be reinstalled and said he will protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital if his demand is not met.
“If Ambedkar had not written Article 3 in the Constitution, Telangana would not have been formed. I have written a letter about this to President, Vice President and Speaker. This issue must be discussed in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament. If our demands are not met, I will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and even after that if it’s not met, I will die for the cause,” Rao told ANI. Rao said that he met the Commissioner for the reinstallation of the statue.
“I had gone to meet the Commissioner and asked that the statue should be reinstalled. They refused. I bought another statue from Amalapuram in Andhra Pradesh and unveiled it in June 2019. It was removed and was instead put at a police station,” he said.
He said a statue of Dr Ambedkar was installed at Panjagutta on April 12, 2019 in Hyderabad and it was vandalized on April 13. “When I got to know about the incident, I went there and staged dharna till evening, I was accompanied by Manda Krishna Madiga, Ramulu Naik and other leaders of the Congress party,” Rao said.

Can’t see Congress securing 300 seats in 2024 LS polls, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Senior Congress leader and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said that he does not see the grand old party winning 300 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking on reversing the decision of the government on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Azad while addressing a rally in Pooch district said that only Supreme Court can take such a decision or Congress has to come power with 300 plus seats but he does not see that happening. However, Azad said that he prays that Congress wins over 300 seats. “Only Supreme Court can decide on Article 370. Besides the apex court, only the ruling government can do it. The current government has abrogated it, how will they do it? And I cannot assure you that Congress will win 300 seats in the 2024 elections. I pray that Congress wins 300 seats but I don’t see that happening now,” said the Congress leader.
Earlier this week, Azad had urged political parties to create an environment in the state that the people start believing that the election can be held and political process can be carried out.
“I am not going into party politics now. I am not speaking against any party now because this is not the environment in the state right now where one party speaks against the other. Rather I would request that all political parties, instead of abusing each other, should create such an environment in the state that the people here start believing that the election can be held and the politics could be done,” he had said.
“Usually, Union Territories are upgraded to State. But in our case, a State was downgraded to UT. It’s like demoting DGP to a post of thanedaar (SHO), CM to MLA, and Chief Secretary to Patwari. No wise man can do this,” he added.
The Central government had abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. The government has said that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored at an appropriate time.

Pass condolence resolution for farmers who died during agitation: Congress writes to Om Birla

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday wrote to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to pass a condolence resolution for farmers who died during the agitation against the three farm laws.
“First of all, I would like to wish you on behalf of my party and myself for the smooth conduct of the coming winter session of the Parliament. On the eve of the coming Parliament Session, I would sincerely request you that as a mark of respect towards our ‘Annadata’, the House may unanimously pass a condolence resolution for the farmers who lost their lives during the farmer agitation,” wrote the Congress MP. Chowdhury further said that the passing of the resolution in the House will convey our gratitude for the sacrifice that our farmer brethren have given to the Nation.
The winter session of the Parliament will commence on November 29 and will continue till December 23.
Meanwhile, the farmers protesting against farm laws have postponed the tractor rally scheduled on November 29, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference here, Farmer leader Darshan Pal Singh said, “After a meeting, Samyukt Kisan Morcha has decided to postpone the proposed tractor rally to Parliament on November 29.”
A tractor rally was scheduled on November 29 for the Parliament to press for a statutory guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops among other things. Farmers have been protesting against the farm laws on various borders of Delhi since November 26, 2020.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre will bring necessary bills in the Winter Session of Parliament beginning later this month to repeal the farm laws. The Prime Minister also said that the government will constitute a committee to work on a new framework for Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 has been listed for introduction and passage. It is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 seeks to repeal the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

What is use of Constitution Day celebrations if govt is incapable of providing Justice: Priyanka Gandhi

Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday slammed the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh for their alleged lack of action in case of murder of a labourer and his family in Prayagraj and questioned the celebration of Constitution Day if the government is incapable of providing help to one in need.
Priyanka Gandhi was addressing a press meet after meeting the kin of the labourer and his family. “The brother of the person who was killed along with his family works with Sashashtra Seema Bal. He works for the security of this nation in a Naxal-dominated area. What is he getting in return? Why is he not getting justice?. What is the use of celebrating Constitution Day if the administration does not provide help to ones facing injustice? Constitution is being destroyed and finished in this state,” said Gandhi.
She further added, “The family is in terror. Family members of the deceased are also worried that if police will not help them if someone threatens them. Even the women told me that when they used to go to the police to complain earlier, policemen used to make jokes and laugh at them.”
She questioned that why the administration was quiet after the incident.
“I was told that the attackers had also come to the house of the victims in September this year, last year and in 2019 and they attacked and harassed the family? Why were these attackers not stopped earlier? Why was security not provided that time?”
Priyanka Gandhi claimed that there is no justice for Dalits, minorities, farmers and women in the state.
“Justice exists only for the ones in power, the people whose company they enjoy and the big industrialists who are their friends,” she added.
Phoolchand Pasi, a labourer, his wife, son and daughter have been murdered in Gohri village of Soraon Vidhan Sabha of Prayagraj. The local gangsters had threatened Phoolchand’s family a few days ago.
Deceased Phoolchand (45), wife Meenu (40), daughter Sapna (17) and son Shiv (10) belonging from one family were found dead here. The deceased family had filed an SC/ST case against some people of the village itself. This controversy escalated,” said Sarvashresth Tripathi, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Prayagraj on Thursday.
Priyanka Gandhi has been visiting Uttar Pradesh frequently ahead of Assembly Polls scheduled early next year.

Congress fields billionaire ‘scrap dealer’ for Bengaluru central MLC polls

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Congress party’s candidate for Bengaluru central legislative council is a billionaire, who was once a scrap dealer and has now declared assets of Rs 1,744 crore.
Yusuf Sharif who goes by the name ‘Gujari Babu’ and ‘Scrap Babu’, claims that his luck changed after he found 13 kg gold by chance in early 2000 after he won the bid of 21 scrap tanks in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF). Later, Sharif claimed that he used that money to buy properties along with factories through Government and court auctions, which changed his life.
Sharif has two wives and five children with movable Assets of 97 crores and immovable Assets worth rupees 1,643 crores in their name.
As per the declaration by Sharif his first wife has movable properties worth Rs 98 lakh and Rs 1.30 crore of immovable assets. His second wife has Rs 32.22 lakhs of movable assets.
Speaking to ANI Yusuf Sharif said that he has seen poverty and has also seen riches. Now, he wants to give back to society and that is the reason why he is joining politics.
Sharif claimed that his family has been associated with Congress for many years and he has been following DK Shivakumar for the last 20 years.
Earlier, Sharif’s house was searched by the Income Tax Department over the allegation of tax evasion of 13.43 crores after his Rolls-Royce car was seized by the RTO officials, which he bought from Amitabh Bachchan, for road tax violation in August 2021.
Yusuf has joined Congress leader Priya Krishna who declared Rs 1,020 crores assets in 2018 assembly polls, BJP MLC Nagraj who declared Rs 1,010 crores and Congress President DK Shivakumar with Rs 841.72 crores declared in 2018 assembly polls as some of the richest candidates in Karnataka politics.
There Legislative Council polls will be held on December 10 in which 99,062 people will cast their votes.

Congress calls a meeting of Opposition parties on Nov 29 to Finalize Parliament strategy

New Delhi [India]: Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has called a meeting of the Opposition parties on November 19, informed sources.

Earlier on Thursday, Congress leaders reached party interim president Sonia Gandhi’s residence for a meeting of the party’s Parliament Strategy Group to discuss the issues that the party will raise in the winter session of the Parliament beginning on November 29.
The party is likely to several issues including raise price rise in the winter session.

Earlier, on November 25, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal had told ANI, “We will raise the issue of inflation in the upcoming session of Parliament. Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group will meet in New Delhi on November 25 to finalize the strategy for the upcoming Parliament session.”

The government’s agenda for the winter session includes 26 new bills including legislation on cryptocurrency and another to repeal three farm laws.

12 of 17 Congress MLAs join Mamata Banerjee’s TMC in Meghalaya- Sources

New Delhi [India]: In a major blow to Congress in Meghalaya, as many as 12 of its 17 MLAs in the state joined Trinamool Congress, claim sources.

“12 out of 17 Congress MLA from Meghalaya have joined Trinamool Congress,” claims Trinamool Congress sources.
The party’s Meghalaya in-charge Manish Chatrath can go to Meghalaya on Thursday. Sources have informed that Chatrath has cancelled his Gujarat visit tomorrow.

“Manish Chatrath postponed tomorrow’s visit to Surat in Gujarat, where he was scheduled to attend late Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s first death anniversary,” sources said.

According to sources in Congress, Chatrath will soon give a full report to the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi.

Notably, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal on November 18 held a meeting at AICC headquarters in New Delhi, which was attended by Manish Chatrath to evaluate to party’s performance in the recently concluded by-polls in Meghalaya.

The meeting was also joined by other party leaders of the state including MPCC President Vincent H Pala, CLP leader Mukul Sangma, MPCC working president M Arnpareen Lyngdoh, Secretary AICC in-charge Manipur Charles Pyngrope, MPCC working presidents Marthon Sangma and James Lyngdoh.

Meghalaya’s ruling party, the National People’s Party (NPP) won Rajabala, Mawryngkneng Assembly seats while the United Democratic Party (UDP) bagged Mawphlang Assembly seat in the bypolls which took place on October 30.

TMC has witnessed a steady stream of leaders joining its ranks after quitting from Congress in the last few months.

In September, former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro joined TMC after resigning from the primary membership of Congress. Following Faleiro shift, nine other leaders from Congress also joined TMC, sources had informed.

Congress MP from Assam’s Silchar and ex-president of All India Mahila Congress, Sushmita Dev had joined the TMC in August this year. She has been assigned to look after TMC’s affairs in Tripura.

Moreover, Luizinho Faleiro and Sushmita Dev both were awarded Rajya Sabha seats after joining TMC.

Ahead of the 2022 Goa assembly polls, North Goa Congress Seva Dal Chief Ulhas Vaskar and Shiv Sena Block President (Ponda) Vinod Borkar joined the TMC on October 21.

Congress leader Kirti Azad and former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar also recently joined TMC. Tanwar was once a close aide of Rahul Gandhi.

Two senior Congress leaders of Uttar Pradesh had joined TMC in October including Rajeshpati Tripathi and Lalitpati Tripathi.

Rajeshpati is an ex-MLC and Laliteshpati is former Uttar Pradesh Congress vice-president and an ex-MLA. Rajeshpati and Laliteshpati are the grandson and the great-grandson of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kamalapati Tripathi, respectively.

Banerjee had visited Delhi in July this year. It was her first visit after Trinamool Congress returned to power in the Bengal Assembly polls. During her visit, he had met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi amongst other leaders. (ANI)

Ex-Congress leader Kirti Azad’s new journey, Joins TMC in Delhi

New Delhi [India] : Cricketer-turned-politician and Congress leader Kirti Azad joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday in the presence of party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here.
“Cricketer-turned-politician, Shri @KirtiAzaad joined our Trinamool Congress family today, in the presence of our Chairperson @MamataOfficial and our National General Secretary @abhishekaitc We welcome him warmly and look forward to working together in this new journey!” AITC tweeted. After joining the TMC, Azad said that a personality like Mamata Banerjee is needed to show the country the right direction.
“It makes me happy to say that under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, I will work for the development of the nation. Today, a personality like her is needed in the country who can show the country the right direction,” he stated.
Azad was a part of the World Cup-winning Indian team in 1983. A cricketer-turned-politician, Azad was elected to Lok Sabha thrice from Darbhanga in Bihar. He had fought the 2014 general elections on a BJP ticket.
On December 23, 2015, he was suspended from BJP for openly targeting then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities and corruption in Delhi and District Cricket Association and later in 2018, he joined Congress.
Earlier in the day, former JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Pavan Varma also joined Trinamool Congress.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee is currently on a visit to Delhi and is slated to be in the national capital till November 25. Her visit comes days ahead of the winter session of Parliament which is scheduled to begin on November 29.
She will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss issues pertaining to the Border Security Force (BSF) and the development of the state during her visit to Delhi.

Congress’ Hanumantha Rao welcomes Andhra govt’s decision to repeal three capitals bill

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Congress leader Hanumantha Rao has welcomed the decision to repeal the bill which intended to make three capitals for Andhra Pradesh and the move is a victory of women who protested against these bills.
Speaking to ANI, Rao said, “I welcome the decision of repealing the three capital bills. There is a new scenario in Andhra Pradesh. A change can be seen in Jagan Mohan Reddy. The women were fighting against the three capital laws. BJP leaders have also protested. He might have thought that it is going against the government’s decision of making three capital. This is a victory of the women who fought for the abolition of the three capital bills.” Andhra Pradesh government on Monday withdrew the “Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020” in the State Assembly. The Bill was intended to make three capitals for the state.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the government is going to take back the Bill which was introduced earlier. He said the state government will introduce a new Bill with no errors.
“We believed that decentralisation of capital is much needed in Andhra Pradesh. The government is going to take back the Bill which was introduced earlier. We will introduce a new Bill with no errors,” the chief minister said in the state legislative assembly.
Earlier today, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy introduced the Bill to repeal the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 in the Assembly.
Andhra Pradesh Assembly in June 2020 passed “Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020”. Prior to that, the Bill was stopped in the Legislative Council. Council chairman MA Shariff had sent the bills for the select committee consideration.
However, YSRCP had an absolute majority in the Legislative Assembly but the party did not have a majority in the Legislative Council.

Congress parliamentary strategy group to meet on Nov 25 ahead of winter session

New Delhi [India]: Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group will hold a meeting on November 25 to finalise the strategy for the upcoming winter session.
“We will raise the issue of inflation in the upcoming session of Parliament. Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group will meet in New Delhi on November 25 to finalize the strategy for the upcoming Parliament session,” Congress general secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal told ANI. Meanwhile, the Centre has called an all-party meet on November 28 ahead of Parliament’s winter session, informed the sources.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi may also attend the meet,” sources said.
The winter session of Parliament is scheduled to commence from November 29.

All ministers of Ashok Gehlot cabinet resign ahead of Rajasthan Congress meet tomorrow

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India]: All ministers in the Rajasthan Council of Ministers have tendered their resignations on Saturday.
This came ahead of the meeting of the Rajasthan Congress on Sunday. Rajasthan Congress in-charge Ajay Maken on Friday said that three ministers of the state Cabinet have written to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, expressing their desire to step down from their posts.
These include state education minister Govind Singh Dotasra, Medical and Health Minister Dr Raghu Sharma and Revenue Minister Harish Chaudhary, he had said.
Cabinet reshuffle in Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government is on the cards, sources informed ANI.
Meanwhile, the oath-taking ceremony of new ministers in the Rajasthan government will take place at the Governor’s house tomorrow at 4 pm, according to sources.

Roll Back of Farm Laws: Victory of farmers’ willpower, struggle; hope Centre draws lessons, says Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Friday termed farmers’ protest as “Gandhian agitation” and said that it is a victory of the “willpower” and “struggle” of 62 crore farmers.

She further hoped that the Centre draws lessons for the future and “shed its pride and arrogance” and work towards policies for farmers’ welfare.
“After almost 12 months of Gandhian agitation, today the struggle and willpower of 62 crore farmers of the country have won. Today, the sacrifices of more than 700 farmer families have paid off, whose families have laid down their lives in this struggle for justice. Today truth, justice, and non-violence have won,” Gandhi said in an official statement after the government announced repealing of three Central agricultural laws.

The Prime Minister earlier in the day assured that the constitutional measures to repeal the laws will begin in the Winter session of Parliament.

Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government, Gandhi said, “I hope that the Prime Minister and the BJP government will leave their pride and arrogance and pay attention to implementing the policies of farmer welfare, will ensure MSP and before taking any such step in future, will take the consent of the state governments, farmer organizations and opposition parties.”

She further accused the BJP of “attacking the agricultural sector” for the last seven years and said, “Whether it is a matter of discontinuing the bonus given to the farmer as soon as the BJP government is formed, or there is a conspiracy to end the fair compensation law of the farmer’s land by bringing an ordinance. Whether it is the refusal to pay the farmer the cost plus 50 per cent profit as promised by the Prime Minister, or the huge increase in the cost of diesel and agricultural products, or the attack of three black anti-farming laws.”

Gandhi cited figures of the government’s NSO and said that the average income of a farmer is Rs 27 per day while the average debt on each is Rs 74,000.

“The government needs to think again on how farming can be made profitable in the true sense and how farmers get the right price for their crop by way of MSP,” she added.

The Centre had last year passed contentious farm laws that prompted nationwide protests.

These included– Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

Centre had no other option, says Karnataka Congress chief on repeal of farm laws

New Delhi [India]: Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar welcomed the Centre’s decision to repeal the farm laws and said that the Centre had no other option for safeguarding the interests of their party and the government.

KPCC president Shivakumar, who is in Delhi, termed the withdrawal of farm laws as a victory for farmers and the Congress party.
Speaking to ANI, Shivakumar said, “In my opinion, this is not a big decision. The Centre had no option left to save their party, their government. This decision was needed to safeguard the country’s interests.”

Shivkumar further added, “The decision earlier had been taken against the interest of the country and the farmers. Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi spoke on record that the Centre had no option left but to repeal these laws.”

The state Congress supremo further said that this agitation had been going on for almost a year. “Many people lost their lives. Lakhs of the people did not opt to work in the farm, agriculture activities, business, production, family and were just fighting for their right,” he said.

“Today is the victory of all the farmers. Now, I appeal to the Centre to compensate all those who lost their lives in this farmers’ movement,” the Congress leader said. The Congress leader further said that it is likely that the decision was taken in view of the upcoming assembly elections in 2022.

In a major move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the repealing of the three Central farm laws.

Farmers have been protesting against the government’s three farm laws since they were passed by the Centre in 2020.

The three farm laws are as follows: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provides for setting up a mechanism allowing the farmers to sell their farm produces outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licence-holder trader can buy the produce from the farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of farm produces will be free of mandi tax imposed by the state governments.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act allows farmers to do contract farming and market their produces freely. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act is an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act. (ANI)

“Govt not made attempts to be inclusive”

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor slammed the government saying it has not made sufficient attempts to be inclusive and has not prioritized to take everyone along.
Speaking to ANI at the launch of his book Pride, Prejudice and Punditry here on Wednesday, Tharoor said, “This government has made insufficient attempt to be inclusive. When you are going to rule a country as large and diverse as India, you ought to be able to take everyone along with you. And I think it’s very evident that’s not being a priority for this government.” Tharoor hit out at the followers of Hindutva including Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that one cannot imagine them doing any of the things Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel did.
“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was Gandhian, now present Prime minister and his party is trying to appropriate Sardar Patel’s legacy, but he (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel) was very much a Gandhian and he was somebody who felt that moral principle should be infused in politics,” he said.
Tharoor further said that Sardar Patel went all his way to protect Muslims from communal violence during the partition.
“He was very angry about the treatment of Hinduism in Pakistan at that time but he felt the moment Hindu misbehaved against Muslims, they forfeited the moral claim to take any hostile action. This kind of thing is very Gandhian way of looking at relations between the communities, for example, he went all his way to protect Muslims from communal violence during partition,” he said.
Asked about his idea about Hinduism that he also mentioned in his book, the Congress leader said that Hindu is told to find their own truth and they seek it inside themselves.
“I have so been very clear and consistent. I’m Hindu and I have no hesitation in talking about my faith and believes. But I believe it is an intensely personal thing. Hindu is told to find their own truth and we seek it ultimately inside ourselves, we don’t look for it outside. The very notion of a personal truth also admits the existence of other truths,” he said.
Further talking about Hinduism, Tharoor said Hinduism is very different from Hindutva which is a political ideology.
“I’m trying to say in my writing there is very open expensive respectful Hinduism of diversity and pluralism of acceptance of other points of view and at the same time Religion, philosophy of doubt of uncertainty questioning of interrogation. It is very different from Hindutva which is a political ideology that actually believes in the statute it is like the team identity of the British football hooligans saying this is my team if you support other teams I will hit you on your head. That to me is not Hindu dharma,” he told ANI.
He also said that there is a need to draw a sharp distinction between religion and politics.
“We have to draw a very sharp distinction between religion and politics one hand and between Hinduism as a spiritual question enquiry and the seeking of the truth and Hindutva as a political ideology which is about community and identity, not at all about spirituality,” the leader said.

Kejriwal slams BJP, Congress over criticisms of AAP’s free electricity promise in Goa

Sattari (Goa) [India]: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress for criticizing him over his declaration of distributing free electricity in Goa saying, ministers get 3,000 units free electricity and if I want to give 300 units to citizens then what is wrong with it?
“BJP and Congress say that Kejriwal is distributing everything for free. I want to ask each and every leader that every minister gets 3,000 units of free electricity every month and if I want to give 300 units free every month to my citizens then what is wrong with this?,” Kejriwal said on Tuesday. “Why are leaders hurting by this? Politicians are hurting because with these schemes all of their corruption money will end,” he added.
Kejriwal has promised to provide 300 units of free power to the people of Goa and also offered to waive off old electricity bills if they come to power in the next assembly elections.
AAP’s supremo remarks on Tuesday came while he was addressing a gathering in Sattari, Goa after inducting BJP leader Vishwajit K Rane into Aam Aadmi Party.
Rane had unsuccessfully contested from the Poriem Assembly constituency in 2017 against Congress leader Pratap Singh Rane. Several leaders have joined the AAP in the run-up to Assembly elections next year.

Telangana: Congress’ Revanth Reddy slams Centre, state over paddy issue

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief Revanth Reddy slammed the Centre and state government for “being irresponsible in purchasing paddy.”
Reddy questioned the state Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and said why the government is not spending money on paddy? He criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) saying “both are one.”
Congress leader further demanded, “a special budget to be introduced so that every grain be bought.” He also stressed that a protest should be held at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister Nehru, the congress party laid flowers at the statue of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Gandhi Bhavan.
He remembered Nehru’s contribution and said “he was jailed for ten years for nation, it is a festival day for people of this country.”
India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Children’s Day in India on November 14.
Nehru was fondly called ‘Chacha Nehru’ and was known for emphasizing the importance of giving love and affection to children.
After the death of Nehru, it was unanimously decided to celebrate his birthday as ‘Bal Diwas’ or Children’s Day in India.

Maharashtra Congress announces state-wide agitation against inflation, fuel price hikes

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Maharashtra Congress has announced a state-wide agitation against the central government over inflation, petrol-diesel price hikes, and policies that are weakening the common man financially.
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole announced that the party will be conducting several agitations in the state from November 14 to November 19. “Maharashtra’s political situation is terrible right now…leaders are making allegations against each other. It’s bringing shame to the State. Allegations made by former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik against each other are serious,” Patole added.
Patole demanded that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray probe the allegations made by both Fadnavis and Malik.
Earlier on Wednesday, Maharashtra Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik had alleged that after demonetization the game of counterfeit notes had continued under the Devendra Fadnavis government.
In October, Fadnavis alleged that Malik had ‘underworld links’ with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast convicts.

Priyanka Gandhi slams UP govt for ‘attacking’ ASHA workers in Shahjahanpur

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly attacking Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers in Shahjahanpur.
Sharing a video on Twitter, Vadra said, “Every attack on the ASHA sisters by the Uttar Pradesh government is an insult to the work done by them. My ASHA sisters have given their services diligently in the COVID pandemic and on other occasions. Receiving an honorarium is their right. It is the duty of the government to listen to them. ASHA sisters deserve respect and I am with them in this fight.” The Congress leader further claimed that ASHA workers will be paid Rs 10,000 per month if the party is voted to power in the state in the upcoming assembly polls.
“The Congress party is committed to the right of providing an honorarium to ASHA sisters and if our government is formed, ASHA sisters and Anganwadi workers will be given an honorarium of Rs 10,000 per month,” she said in a tweet.
Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to go for Assembly polls early next year.
In the 2017 UP Assembly elections, the BJP had secured 312 seats in the elections for the 403-member House. Samajwadi Party (SP) had bagged 47 seats, BSP had won 19 while Congress had bagged seven seats in the last Assembly polls in the state.

“No right to celebrate democracy”

Panaji (Goa) [India]: Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar on Monday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been “butchering democracy on daily basis”, has no right to “Celebrate Democracy” through the initiatives like Women’s Parliament.
Addressing a press conference at Congress House in Panaji, Chodankar said, “BJP which is killing democracy and democratic institutions on daily basis, has no right to celebrate democracy. This exposes the doublespeak of the BJP.” Referring to the Women’s Parliament, Chodankar said that the Leader of Opposition was not given due respect in the event. “He should have been prominently involved in the event being Leader of Opposition but the entire event was hijacked by BJP to please their workers at taxpayers’ money, he said.
His remarks came after the BJP-led Goa government began celebrating its 60th year of liberation on Monday. The state government celebrated democracy and organised the National Women’s Parliament on November 8 to groom women leaders about the opportunities available for them at both state and Centre levels.
The GPCC Chief said that BJP has also acted in an undemocratic way when it stole away the mandate given to Congress by people after the 2017 assembly election. “In the democratic process, people had given their mandate to Congress but BJP stole it overnight,” he said.
“The Speaker of Legislative Assembly allowed BJP to do midnight dacoity and when we filed disqualification petition, he took 20 months to decide on it. He decided after Supreme Court intervened and that too he gave the order legalizing the illegal merger,” he added.
He said that BJP in the centre and the state have repeatedly disrespected democracy.
Chodankar said that the Legislative Assembly Session was held only for 88 days during the last five years. “For a healthy democracy, they should have held Assembly Session, at least for 200 days,” he said.

Congress slams Centre for Suicides

New Delhi [India]: The Congress slammed the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for the death of over 9.5 lakh people in the last seven years who allegedly committed suicide, saying it came to power with the promise of ‘Acche Din’ but forced people into “suicidal hopelessness”.
The opposition party also said that farmers were forced into committing suicide and in the past 7 years due to the “crony capitalist friendly and anti-farmer” policies of the Modi government. Citing the recent National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report on “Suicides and Accidental Deaths in India”, which states 9,58,275 Indians ended their lives by committing suicide between 2014-2020.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement said that there was an increase of 55 per cent in the number of students committing suicide, 58 per cent increase among the unemployed, and 139.37 per cent increase among farmers, labourers and daily wagers and overall the number of suicides across categories increased by 16.24 per cent, as per the report.
“The report, with its figures regarding suicide, underlines the unprecedented tragedy that is ruining India. Hapless citizens, being ground under extreme apathy and insensitivity of the government, are losing the last hope and taking their own lives. Be it ‘annadata’ (farmers), toiling labourers, daily wagers, housewives or unemployed educated youth, it is a saga of unending hopelessness all across. Opportunities for the aspiring have been converted into cesspools of suicidal depression,” said Congress spokesperson.
“During the last 7 years Between 2014 -2020 the failed and insensitive policies of the Modi government pushed 9,58,275 Indians into ending their lives by committing suicide. Today in an attempt to mask its failed anti-people policies the government is nakedly resorting to perpetuating divisiveness, negativity, hopelessness amongst the people,” he said.
Surjewala further said that the NCRB data displays the ‘Yamlok Sidhar’ picture of the government rather than that of ‘Lok Sudhar’.
He said that farmers were forced into committing suicide and in the past 7 years due to the “crony capitalist friendly and anti-farmer” policies of the Modi government, 78,303 farmers committed suicide of which 35,122 were farm labourers.
The Congress leader said that there was an increase of 19 per cent in the number of suicides from the year 2019 to 2020. The government literally forced the farmers into committing suicide, citing the rising input costs, absence of minimum support price (MSP), and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana which benefited private insurance companies and finally the three “black” farm laws as the main reasons.
“Even as students and unemployed are forced into committing suicide, India’s future is nothing but dark. During the Modi government’s tenure from 2014 to 2020, 69,407 students were forced to end their lives,” he added.
Surjewala further citing the OXFAM report said that the hundred richest Indians wealth was increased by 13 lakh crores while the 12 crore Indians lost their jobs.
He further said that 1,52,127 housewives committed suicide between 2014 to 2020.
The rate of suicide in India has gone up by 16 per cent in 2020 in comparison to the year 2014, he added.

Congress’ Revanth Reddy slams KCR govt for giving notification for opening wine shops in Telangana

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] : Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief Revanth Reddy slammed Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao government for giving notification to open wine shops in the sate.
“The government is not focusing on employment instead they have given a notification for opening wine shops,” TPCC chief said. Reddy further accused the KCR government for the deaths of farmers in the state.
“According to the National Crime Rate Statistics around 7409 farmers died in Telangana and as per unofficial data, it has been estimated that around 40,000 farmers have lost their lives,” he added.
Congress leader Dasoju Sravan also said, “BJP during the 2014 elections led by Narendra Modi has made eloquent promises including that if they come to power every year two crores of jobs will be provided which means by now 16 crores of jobs would have been created.”
“Both PM Modi and KCR have cheated unemployed youth of Telangana,” he said.
Speaking further, Sravan said, the demonetisation and lockdown have also created havoc on individuals’ life and many people lost their livelihood.
As per the unconfirmed information, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the state on November 12. Commenting on this, Congress leader Sravan said when PM will land here, the party will massively protest in front of him and raise the issue of unemployment.
“We will make Prime Minister listen to the pain of the youth,” he added.

Congress said to continue agitation, make fuel price, inflation agenda for upcoming polls

New Delhi [India]: Congress will continue agitation against fuel price and inflation while making these issues prime agenda for the upcoming state Assembly elections.
Speaking to ANI, a top source said, “Congress party is going to launch an agitation drive against the inflation and fuel price hike from November 14. Congress Party will take out padayatra and rallies from the district level to the state level. The party is also planning to hold a massive rally in the national capital ahead of Parliament Session.” He said it is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s bad performance in the recent bypolls that led the Centre to cut the excise duty on petrol and diesel. He said inflation and fuel price will be the prime agenda of the party in the upcoming assembly polls
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal told ANI, “The party will continue to agitate on the issue of inflation and fuel price until the government cuts down the excise duty that it increased during the COVID period.”
In relief to consumers, the Finance Ministry on Wednesday announced a Rs 5 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol and a Rs 10 per litre cut in excise duty on diesel.

‘PM Modi remembers god when elections are near’

New Delhi [India] : Congress leader and former MP Rashid Alvi on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his visit to Kedarnath temple ahead of Uttarakhand Assembly elections.
“Whenever there is an election, the Prime Minister remembers gods and temples. Faith should not be used for politics and BJP uses it for political gain,” said Alvi. Earlier, Congress leader Harish Rawat said PM Modi’s visit to Kedarnath was for marketing BJP and making a political speech.
Rawat, after offering prayers at the Tilbhandeshwar temple in Haridwar, said, “The PM has come here for giving a political speech. He has come for his party’s marketing. We see Jyotirling in our Shiva temples. We see God Kedar in our Shiva temples. We are going to pour water at Shiva temples. In the entire state, Congress workers are pouring water in Shiva temples. They are doing so in the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. We are praying for maintaining peace and communal harmony in the country and that democracy should be safeguarded.”
Earlier in the day, PM Modi offered prayers at the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand and unveiled an Adi Shankaracharya statue. He also inaugurated several redevelopment projects worth Rs 130 crore.
The Uttarakhand Assembly elections are due early next year.
In the 2017 elections, BJP won 57 assembly seats, Congress won 11 and the rest of the seats were won by others

PM Modi marketed BJP at Kedarnath: Harish Rawat

Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India] : Congress leader Harish Rawat on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath visit, ahead of the assembly elections, was for marketing BJP and making a political speech.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi offered prayers at the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand and unveiled an Adi Shankaracharya statue. He also inaugurated several redevelopment projects worth Rs 130 crore. The Congress leader, after offering prayers at the Tilbhandeshwar temple in Haridwar, said, “The PM has come here for giving a political speech. He has come for his party’s marketing. We see Jyotirling in our Shiva temples. We see God Kedar in our Shiva temples. We are going to pour water at Shiva temples. In the entire state, Congress workers are pouring water in Shiva temples. They are doing so in the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. We are praying for maintaining peace and communal harmony in the country and that democracy should be safeguarded.”
The Congress leader further said, “If the inflation increases a little more the people will be unable to control their anger.”
The Uttarakhand Assembly elections are due early next year.
In the 2017 elections, BJP won 57 assembly seats, Congress won 11 and the rest of the seats were won by others.

‘Will petroleum prices come down to 2014 level’

New Delhi [India] : Congress on Wednesday took a jibe at the central government, saying that the reduction in excise duty of petrol and diesel has been “tom-tommed” as a Diwali gift but it has come after BJP lost several seats in bypolls to assembly and Lok Sabha seats, whose results were announced on Tuesday.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the government of resorting to “jumlas” and asked when will petroleum prices come to the level in 2014. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the BJP-led government had hiked excise on petrol by Rs 32.90 and Rs five reduction announced on Wednesday had brought it down to Rs 27 per litre. He said excise on diesel had been brought down from Rs 31.80 per litre to Rs 21.80 per litre.
Surjewala, who made a series of tweets, said that excise on petrol was Rs 9.48 per litre and that on diesel was Rs 3.56 per litre when Congress-led UPA was in power.
“Kudos to People for showing the “mirror of truth” to tax-parasitic Modi Govt! But do remember – In May 2014, Price of Petrol was Rs71.41 – Diesel was Rs 55.49/litre but Crude Oil was Rs 105.71/Barrel. Crude Oil is $82/Barrel today. When will the prices equate year 2014?” he said.
“Congress Govt-: Excise on Petrol – Rs9.48/litre Excise on Diesel – Rs3.56/litre Modi Govt -: Excise on Petrol – Rs 32.90- Rs 5.00= Rs 27.90/litre excise on Diesel – Rs 31.80- Rs 10.00= Rs 21.80/litre Modi ji, Nation doesn’t need “Jumlas”, Roll Back the draconian Tax Hike!” he added.
Surjewala said BJP lost assembly bypolls on 14 seats.
“Pl see the Jumlas of “Modi-nomics”! In Year 2021, Price of Petrol were hiked by Rs 28 & Diesel by Rs 26/litre. After losing 14 bye elections & 2 Lok Sabhas, reducing Petrol-Diesel price by Rs 5 & Rs 10 is tom-tommed as ‘Diwali Gift’ of Modi Ji! Hey Ram….. #Petrol #Diesel” Surjewala said.
In a significant decision, the Centre on Wednesday reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel to bring down the prices of the two petroleum products which had been seeing an upward trend.
The relief to consumers came on the eve of Diwali. The Finance Ministry said that excise duty on petrol will come down by Rs 5 and that on diesel by Rs 10 and it will be effective from Thursday.
It urged the states “to commensurately reduce” VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers. (

Inflation at peak around Diwali, wish Centre was sensitive to people: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi [India] : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hit out the Centre saying that inflation is at its peak around Diwali and added that he wished the government had a sensitive heart for the people.
“It’s Diwali. Inflation is at its peak. It’s not a joke. I wish the Modi government had a sensitive heart for the public,” Gandhi tweeted in Hindi. His statement comes amid rising fuel prices.
Petrol and diesel prices remained constant today after constantly rising for seven consecutive days.
In Delhi, petrol and diesel have been priced at Rs 110.04 and Rs 98.42 per litre respectively. Petrol and diesel cost Rs Rs 115.85 and Rs 106.62 per litre in Mumbai, Rs 110.49 and Rs 101.56 per litre in Kolkata and Rs 106.66 and Rs 102.59 per litre in Chennai respectively.
On November 1, the prices of commercial Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG cylinders were hiked by Rs 266.

Telangana Congress chief says Huzurabad bypolls won’t determine future of the party

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: After Congress lost the Huzurabad bypolls on Tuesday, Telangana party chief Revanth Reddy, while taking full responsibility for the loss, said that the by-elections do not determine the future of the party.
While addressing the media here, Reddy said, “Huzurabad by-election was held under special circumstances. By-elections do not determine the future of the party. In the last election, BJP got only 1600 votes; now it has won.” “We will fight for the people of Huzurabad in the future. I am fully responsible for the Huzurabad election results. We will analyse the reports and will fight more responsibly on public issues,” he added.
He asked the party workers not to be disappointed by the defeat and also said that the Congress candidate for the Huzurabad by-election, Balmoor Venkat Narsing Rao, has a bright future.
“He will be a good leader of the Congress,” Reddy said.
He further added that the defeat will not cripple him. “This disappointment of the defeat is not permanent; let’s build from disappointment,” he said.
Former cabinet minister and BJP leader Eatala Rajender won the Huzurabad Assembly seat which went to bypolls on October 30.
BJP’s Eatala Rajender defeated his nearest rival, TRS’ Gellu Srinivas Yadav by a margin of 23,855 votes in the Huzurabad Assembly seat. While Rajender bagged 1,07,022 votes, Yadav got 83,167 votes. Meanwhile, Congress’ Balmoor Venkat Narsing Rao managed to get only 3,014 votes.

Captain Amarinder Singh is having seat-sharing talks with ‘anti-farmer BJP’, says Congress leader

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Attacking former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned from Congress and formed a new party, state Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja on Tuesday said Captain is having seat-sharing talks with “anti-farmer Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
“Dear Capt Amarinder Singh Sahab, in your letter to Congress President you cited Punjab Congress Chief Sardar Navjot Singh Sidhu ‘Hugging’ Pak Army Chief and Pak PM as your reason to leave the party. (But) you now are ‘Seat Sharing’ with Anti-Farmer BJP,” tweeted the minister. Earlier on Tuesday, former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh resigned from the Congress and announced a new party ‘Punjab Lok Congress’ ahead of Punjab Assembly elections.
In his resignation letter to Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, Captain called Navjot Singh Sidhu as “an acolyte of Pakistani deep state”.
“Despite my profound reservations and over the unanimous advice of almost all the MPs from Punjab, you chose to appoint an acolyte of Pakistani deep state Navjot Singh Sidhu who had publicly hugged the Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan, as the President of the Punjab Congress Committee,” he said.
Singh had resigned in September as the chief minister and had announced that he will be quitting the Congress after months of a rift with Congress state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Last week, Captain reiterated that after launching his party he will hold talks for seat-sharing with BJP for the upcoming state Assembly polls.
“I will hold talks for seat-sharing with BJP, breakaway Akali factions and others for Punjab elections once farmers’ issue is resolved. I want to build a strong collective force in the interest of Punjab and its farmers,” Captain Amarinder Singh had said.

Himachal : Congress sweeps bypolls in state

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India]: Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday said that he humbly accepts the verdict given by people in by-elections to one Lok Sabha seat and three Assembly constituencies.

The chief minister said, “I humbly accept the verdict given by the people in by-elections. The results were not as per expectations. The BJP lost Mandi Parliamentary seat with a narrow margin.”
The Congress party won three Assembly seats that went to bypolls on October 30. Congress also won the Mandi Parliament seat. (ANI)

Amarinder Singh resigns from Congress

Patiala (Punjab) [India]: Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh resigned from the Congress party and announced a new party ‘Punjab Lok Congress’ ahead of Punjab Assembly elections.
“I have today sent my resignation to @INCIndia President Ms Sonia Gandhi ji, listing my reasons for the resignation. ‘Punjab Lok Congress’ is the name of the new party. The registration is pending approval with the @ECISVEEP. The party symbol will be approved later,” Amarinder Singh tweeted. Singh had resigned in September as the chief minister and had announced that he will be quitting the Congress after months of a rift with Congress state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
He had resigned ahead of Congress legislature party meeting which was called amid unending factional battles in the ruling Congress in the state. Singh was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi as the chief minister of the state.

Sidhu slams Channi for promising ‘lollipops’

Referring to the recent freebies announced by Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday attacked politicians who offer “lollipops” just ahead of polls and said that Punjab’s welfare comes from a roadmap and not by tactics, reflecting that infighting still persists in the state Congress unit.

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India] : His attack against his own government in Punjab after the chief minister announced 11 per cent hike in dearness allowance for state government employees and slashed power rates by Rs 3 per unit for the domestic sector. “Give people ‘lollipops’ in the last two months. Question is from where they will (government) give it? Is the objective just to form government by telling lies and making false promises? Way of Punjab’s welfare comes from a roadmap,” Sidhu said while addressing an event organised by the newly formed Sanyukt Hindu Mahasabha in Chandigarh on Monday.
Issuing a piece of advice to the politicians and various political parties to not indulge in tactics of luring voters by announcing freebies, he simultaneously urged people to vote on the agenda that aims at the development of the state.
He further went on to slam the state government claiming a debt of Rs 5 lakh crore.
“There has been a debt of Rs 5 lakh crore on Punjab. If people think this debt will be repaid by the government, they are mistaken. The burden will be borne by the people. If treasury is overflowing, why do they not increase the salary of teachers to Rs 50,000 per month?” he asked.
While addressing the gathering, he also projected himself as the chief ministerial candidate for the state, asking the high command to pick a ‘real leader’ from the ‘soil.’
“Decisions will be taken in this court. Don’t think that Guru doesn’t do justice. He assays. By doing that he changed governments…Real workers are like jewels in sand, put them in Punjab’s crown. In the end, I say Main Hoon Na (I am there),” he said.
There has been an ongoing rift in the party’s Punjab unit for the last several months.
Sidhu had tendered his resignation as Punjab Congress chief on September 28. He was reportedly upset over the bureaucratic setup and his commands not being followed after Cabinet expansion in Punjab. But his resignation was not accepted by the party. Sidhu’s resignation as state party chief has intensified the crisis in the Punjab Congress as a minister and three Congress leaders, considered close to him, stepped down from their posts.
This came as a big blow to the Congress that was hoping to resolve the turmoil in the Congress unit of Punjab ahead of the Assembly elections early next year.
Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab on September 20, days after Captain Amarinder Singh stepped down from the post of Punjab Chief Minister following months of infighting between him and Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Amarinder Singh had resigned as Chief Minister on September 18 and had told the media that the Congress leadership had let him down. He had also taken a dig at Sidhu over his resignation, saying he is not a stable man. Recently, he also announced forming his own political party.
Sidhu was made PCC chief by Congress leadership in July to stem infighting in Punjab Congress ahead of next year’s assembly polls but the party is now grappling with a fresh crisis.

Joju George Objects To Congress Road Blockade Against Fuel Price Hike

A Congress protest against fuel price hike on Monday saw a row break after Malayalam film actor Joju George questioned the agitators who blocked a busy National Highway in the city. Agitated Congress workers allegedly smashed the glass of his vehicle, alleging that the actor, in a drunken state, “misbehaved” with the women workers of the party who were protesting against the skyrocketing prices of the petrol and diesel.

Asked about the Congress complaint against George, police said the actor has been taken to a police station. The police also took his vehicle into custody.

Police took the actor to a government hospital in Tripunithura for medical examination after the Congress workers complained that he created trouble in the protest venue in a drunken state.
Police also said action would be taken against those who shattered the glass of his vehicle.

“Action would be taken against the culprits after examining the video footage of the incidents. No written permission was sought for the agitation but there was enough police deployment after coming to know about the protest through the media,” a police officer told reporters.

As the protesters blocked the highway, George, whose car got trapped in the Vyttila area, came out of it and urged the agitators to end the protest as it was causing difficulties for the commuters.

The actor was joined by several other people, who also questioned the manner in which the protest is being carried out in a busy highway.

District Congress Committee (DCC) president Mohammed Shiyas claimed that the 30-minute road-blocking protest was organized after giving notice to the police and publicizing about it through the media.

Condemning the actions of the actor, Shiyas alleged that George created trouble in the protest venue in a drunken state and misbehaved with women workers of the party.

George, while talking to reporters, said the mode of protest blocking the road was not acceptable.

Such “shameful” protests should not be repeated again as it was affecting people who have ventured out of their houses for their various needs, the actor said.

He alleged that the local Congress leaders abused him.

KPCC chief K Sudhakaran condemned the action of the actor and sought legal action against him.

Adhir Ranjan calls TMC a ‘political traitor’

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : Alleging that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is a “political traitor”, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the TMC has been “carved” out of the Congress party.
Talking to ANI, Chowdhury said if TMC claims that Congress is finished “it means that they themselves don’t have relevance. “The TMC has been carved out of the Congress party… if it says that the Congress party has lost its relevance in politics then it means the same party has lost its relevance,” said Congress leader.
He also appealed to the youngsters of India to join the Congress party in order to safeguard the national interest. Congress started a membership drive today.
The statement came after the TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that Narendra Modi will become more powerful as the Congress party is not serious about politics.

Congress tributes Indira Gandhi

New Delhi [India]: All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) on Sunday organised a special programme at the Congress headquarters in the national capital to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.
The women’s wing of the party also organised a blood donation camp on the occasion. Speaking to ANI, Mahila Congress Chief Neeta D’Souza said, “If we remember Indira Ji’s last speech she said that her every drop of blood is to build India. We have organised a blood donation camp because due to the COVID pandemic, it is difficult to arrange blood at the time of emergency. It is our way of remembering Indira Gandhi ji.”
Indian Youth Congress (IYC) also organised a special programme on the “martyrdom day” of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and honoured women’s working in different fields.
Youth Congress president Srinivas said the programme was organised to tribute to the country’s first woman Prime Minister “Iron Lady” Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.
Earlier today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi paid tributes to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Shakti Sthal in the national capital on her 37th death anniversary.
Taking to Twitter, he said, “My grandmother continued to serve the country fearlessly till the last moment – her life is a source of inspiration for us. Best example of women power, humble tribute to Indira Gandhi on her martyrdom day.”
Indira Gandhi served as the first and only woman Prime Minister of India from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984.
She was shot dead by two of her own bodyguards at her official residence at Akbar Road on October 31, 1984, which led to anti-Sikh riots in several parts of the country.

Attempts were made to forget Sardar’s contributions

Narmada (Gujarat) [India] : In a veiled attack on Congress, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that attempts were made post-Independence to forget Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his contributions, but the situation has changed as the world’s tallest statue is a testimony of the changed realities.
“Unfortunate attempts were made to forget Sardar Patel. After independence, his contributions were never given due respect. He was neither given Bharat Ratna nor proper respect. The situation has changed. He was given Bharat Ratna and this world’s tallest statue is before us to see,” Shah said while addressing the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (National Unity Day) programme at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district to mark Sardar Patel’s 146th birth anniversary. Shah further said that in 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government at the Centre, October 31 was introduced as National Unity Day.


“When there was a change in the country in 2014, the government was formed under the leadership of Modi ji, then it was decided to celebrate October 31 as National Unity Day. This was done so that the struggle that Sardar Patel fought for independence for years continues to inspire the younger generation of the country,” Shah noted.
Earlier today, he paid floral tributes to Patel at his 182-metre tall statue, which is the tallest in the world. The statue was inaugurated in October 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at the event, Shah said that Kevadia has become a pilgrimage site.
“Kevadia is not just the name of a place, it has become a shrine – a shrine of national unity, of patriotism. This sky-high statue of Sardar Patel is giving a message to the world that India’s future is bright, that nobody can damage the unity and integrity of India,” he said.
Sardar Patel, who is credited with uniting all 562 princely states of the pre-independent country to build the Republic of India, passed away on December 15, 1950.

Amit Shah attends ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ in Gujarat’s Kevadia, pays tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Kevadia (Gujarat) [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 146th birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadia.
Shah presided over the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (National Unity Day) function at Kevadia where he also paid floral tribute to Sadar Patel’s 182-metre-tall statue. Men’s hockey team captain, Olympian Manpreet Singh and other athletes also participated in the parade at Statue of Unity in Kevadia today.
On the occasion of the 75th year of India’s Independence, 75 cyclists from ITBP, SSB, CISF, CRPF and BSF, who have travelled approximately 9,000 km from various parts of the country to Kevadiya, will be taking part in the event as per an official statement.
A total of 101 motorcyclists from police of the states of Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat, who have travelled from the East, South, North and West of the country to Kevadiya covering approximately 9,200 km will also be part of the event.


Twenty-three medal winners in the Olympic Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, including Manpreet Singh, the captain of India’s Bronze winning Men’s Hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics will also be participating in the event.
National Unity Day is celebrated in India on October 31. It was introduced by the Central government in 2014. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel who had a major role in the political integration of India.

Rahul Gandhi & others pay tribute to Indira Gandhi on her 37th death anniversary

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday paid tributes to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Shakti Sthal in the national capital on her 37th death anniversary.

Taking to Twitter, he said, “My grandmother continued to serve the country fearlessly till the last moment – her life is a source of inspiration for us. Best example of women power, humble tribute to Indira Gandhi on her martyrdom day.”
Indira Gandhi served as the first and only woman Prime Minister of India from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984.

She was shot dead by two of her own bodyguards at her official residence at Akbar Road on October 31, 1984, which led to anti-Sikh riots in several parts of the country. (ANI)

“Congress equals to scams”

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India] : Hitting out at the Congress, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the grand old party is synonymous with corruption and scams and its leaders always turn down promises.
Shah, while speaking at the inauguration event of ‘Ghasiyari Kalyan Yojana’ here, challenged Uttarakhand’s former Chief Minister Harish Rawat to an open debate over the promises made and fulfilled by Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that his party has fulfilled around 85 per cent of promises made in its manifesto. “Congress is synonymous with corruption and scams. The party do not bother about the development of any state. Congress always turns down its promise. Congress only does appeasement and cannot do any welfare work for Uttarakhand,” the Union Minister said.


“The Congress leaders could not be been seen during COVID-19, floods in the state. But when elections are around they emerge and start doing press conferences,” he said.
Shah further lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and said, “Only BJP government under the leadership of PM Modi can work for the welfare of the poor and provide good governance to the country. Uttarakhand has seen overall development in the last four years. BJP is committed to the development of the state under the leadership of CM Pushkar Singh Dhami.”
“I challenge Harish Rawat Ji to an open debate on the promises made and fulfilled by Congress and BJP in their respective election manifestos. The BJP has fulfilled around 85 per cent of promises made in its manifesto,” he added.
Shah also informed that PM Modi would be visiting the Kedarnath Dham on November 5, where he will be inaugurating an idol of Adi Shankaracharya.
Polls for the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly are scheduled to take place in early 2022.
In the 2017 elections, BJP secured 57 Assembly seats, Congress won 11 seats and the rest of the seats were won by others.

“SP, BSP, Congress destroyed UP”

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Slamming the Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday alleged that Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and Congress had “destroyed” the identity of the state and Yogi Adityanath government has given the state a distinct identity under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Union Home Minister on Friday launched ‘Mera Parivaar-BJP Parivaar’ membership drive in Lucknow as the BJP gears up for the assembly polls early next year. “Samajwadi Party, BSP, Congress had destroyed the identity of Uttar Pradesh. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modiji, the Yogi Adityanath government has given a distinct identity to the state,” he said.
He said the state has made rapid development strides under BJP rule.
“Before 2017, Uttar Pradesh was the seventh-largest economy of the country, today it has become the second economy of the country. Akhilesh babu’s state budget was Rs 10 lakh crore. Yogiji has kept an interim budget of Rs 21.31 lakh crore.” Amit Shah said.
He said there was forced migration from parts of Uttar Pradesh during the rule of non-BJP parties and those responsible for it have themselves migrated now.
“Today no forced migration takes place from Uttar Pradesh. Those responsible for it have themselves migrated. Today there are no Bahubalis. This change is because of the BJP government,” Shah said.
He further said that unlike the opposition, the BJP has proved that its governments work for the poorest of the poor.
“People who were sitting at home for the last five years are coming out thinking their government will be formed. I want Akhilesh Yadav to tell the people of Uttar Pradesh that for how many days he was staying abroad. Where was he during the COVID and floods? They only worked for their family,” he said.
The Union Home Minister said that the BJP government in the state had fulfilled 90 per cent of promises made in the 2017 manifesto and the remaining 10 per cent would also be completed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the next two months.
The BJP won a landslide victory in the 2017 assembly polls.

Channi meets Rahul

New Delhi [India] : Amidst the political turmoil in Punjab, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday in the national capital.
As per sources, in the crucial meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s residence in Delhi, Congress discussed the upcoming strategy for the Punjab election. The meeting came after former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that he will form a new political party that will field candidates on all 117 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections in 2022.
In the meeting that lasted for about 2:30 hours, Congress leaders discussed the strategy for the upcoming Punjab election.
Apart from Channi and Gandhi, Congress organization general secretary KC Venugopal, Punjab in-charge Harish Chaudhary were also present in this meeting.
Meanwhile, Congress Punjab In-charge Harish Chaudhary met Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi yesterday at 10 Janpath.

Kamya Punjabi Starts Her Political Journey With Congress

Actor Kamya Punjabi is extremely happy to make her foray into politics with the Congress party.

On Thursday, Kamya took to Twitter to update fans about the new chapter in her life. She wrote, “A beautiful start to my New Beginning! Thank you so much @BhaiJagtap1 bhai @tehseenp @INCMumbai @INCIndia for such a warm welcome. Really looking forward to start working under the leadership of @RahulGandhi ji @priyankagandhi ji.”

A day ago, Kamya was inducted into the Congress party in the presence of Mumbai Congress president Bhai Jagtap. Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla, along with other members of the Congress, were also present at the event.

Kamya is best known for her stint in TV shows such as ‘Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak?’ and ‘Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki’. She had also participated in the reality TV show ‘Bigg Boss’ in 2013.

Assembly polls 2022: Rahul Gandhi to visit Goa on October 30

New Delhi [India]: Ahead of the Goa Assembly elections due early next year, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit the state on October 30.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar informed about s visit during the press conference on Wednesday. Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which BJP currently has 17 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three independents. GFP and MGP each have three MLAs.
Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house.

‘BJP destroying India like Hitler’

New Delhi [India] : Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday drew parallels between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and German dictator Adolf Hitler and alleged that BJP is destroying India just like Hitler destroyed Germany. Taking to Twitter, the Congress leader said, “The final phase of the election has arrived. Now everyone in BJP will say “Hinduism is in danger, vote for BJP to save it.” BJP does the same thing Hitler used to do. BJP is destroying India just like Hitler destroyed Germany.” The allegations came ahead of by-polls in three assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh– Prithvipur, Raigaon (SC) and Jobat (ST) in Madhya Pradesh–scheduled to take place on October 30.
As per Election Commission, the counting of votes and announcement of results will be on November 2.

‘Amarinder, loyal CM of BJP’

Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday hit out at former Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh calling him a loyal Chief Minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Chandigarh [India] : “We the 78 MLAs of Congress, could never imagine, what we received an arm-twisted, ED controlled BJP loyal Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh… who sold the interests of Punjab to save his skin! You were the negative force stalling Justice & development of Punjab,” Sidhu said in a tweet. Sidhu also mentioned the defeat Amarinder Singh’s party faced after he broke away from the Akali Dal in 1992 and formed a new political party.
“You wanted to close doors on me, as I was raising voice of the People, speaking truth to power! Last time you formed your own party, you lost your ballot, garnering only 856 votes … People of Punjab are again waiting to punish you for compromising on the interests of Punjab !!, “Sidhu tweeted.
The tweets came at the time when Amarinder Singh was holding a press conference in Chandigarh to announce a new political party and to share the achievements of his government.
Reacting to Sidhu’s tweets, Singh said, “He knows nothing, talks too much and doesn’t have brains.”
The former chief minister at the press conference announced that he is forming a new political party, the name and symbol of which will be shared once cleared by the Election Commission.
Singh resigned last month as the chief minister and had announced that he will be quitting the Congress after months of rift with Congress state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
He had resigned ahead of Congress legislature party meeting which was called amid unending factional battles in the ruling Congress in the state. Singh was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi as the chief minister of the state.

Sonia speaks to Lalu

Amid trouble in the grand alliance of the opposition in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said he had a telephonic conversation with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.

New Delhi [India] : However, the details of the discussion are still unknown. The telephonic conversation comes after Congress and RJD broke off the alliance ahead of the by-polls in Kusheshwar Asthan (SC) and Tarapur constituencies in Bihar scheduled on October 30.
Earlier, breaking the alliance with Congress in Bihar, Lalu Yadav had said that RJD’s candidates would lose their deposit in the elections if they remain in alliance with the Congress in the state ahead of the by-polls in two assembly constituencies.


However, on Tuesday, the RJD chief called upon Congress to become a ‘strong alternative’ to the BJP at the national level politics and said that his party has always supported Congress in every situation.
The RJD and the Congress had contested the 2020 Bihar polls as coalition partners. The alliance fell short of 10 seats from the majority mark in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections, with RJD emerging as the single-largest party with 75 seats. Congress could only manage to win 19 of the 70 seats it had contested on.
The ruling coalition, NDA secured a majority with 125-seats in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly of which BJP won 74 seats, Janata Dal (United) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.

AICC for major overhaul?

New Delhi [India] : A major overhaul could be on the cards in Congress which is going through internal problems. At a meeting of top party leaders at the AICC headquarters in Delhi on Tuesday, which was presided over by party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi, leaders pressed for the need to amend the Constitution of the Congress. The meeting was called yesterday by Sonia to evolve a strategy for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and four others.

Leaders attending the marathon meeting, which spanned over three and a half hours, were on the same page for amending the party’s Constitution. The present Constitution of the party was written in the 1920s and some of its clauses look impractical in today’s world. Leaders from some Northeast states raised the issue in the meeting. Senior leaders also said that there was a need to amend the Constitution. As per sources, there was consensus that the party needs to amend the Constitution. The party decided to constitute a committee that will look into the issues raised by the leaders and amend some of the clauses of the Constitution. The Constitution of the Congress asks its members not to drink alcohol and wear khadi. Leaders said that this might have sounded absolutely logical in the 1920s, but India has changed a lot since then. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that it was made mandatory to wear khadi because the objective was to promote locally made products. Sending a message of unity for party workers and leaders, Rahul said true Congress leaders are not each other’s weakness but their strength. The last amendment to Congress’ Constitution was made in 2010 when the tenure of the president of the party was increased from three years to five years. A committee that had stalwarts like Pranab Mukherjee, Janardhan Dwivedi , Ahmad Patel and Digvijay Singh was formed then to review the Constitution. It had then recommended some amendments which were ratified in the AICC session that was held in Burari in 2010. Congress’ Constitution empowers the CWC and the president of the party to make any amendment to the constitution; however any amendment needs to be passed in CWC first and then needs to be ratified in an AICC session. Congress sources suggest that the discussion to amend some clauses was held during former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as well. However, the party then felt that it would create ‘unnecessary controversy’ hence these amendments were never made. Chairing the meeting, Sonia Gandhi emphasised the need for discipline and unity for both collective and individual success and said the party’s messages on key issues facing the nation were not percolating down to grassroot cadre.

“No Cong MLA will join”

Amritsar (Punjab) [India]: Congress leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu on Tuesday expressed confidence that no Congress MLA will join Capt Amarinder Singh’s party except those who might have got favours from him.
“I don’t think any Congress MLA will leave and join Singh’s party. If he gave favours to anyone then they might go,” she said. When asked about former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s new political party, the Congress leader said, “People who are attached to the party will never go.”
She took a dig at the former chief minister, saying that despite getting all the freedom from the Congress, Singh did not entrust any worker with some power.
“He was given all freedom by the party but he didn’t give power to any worker, never openly met any minister or MLA. Who will trust him?” she asked.
Navjot Kaur said, “It would’ve been best for him if he had joined Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). It would’ve laid people’s suspicion to rest and he would’ve been able to win a few seats.”
Earlier this month, it was learnt that Singh will launch a new political party to fight the forthcoming assembly polls in the state and hopes for a tie-up with BJP if the ongoing protest by farmer unions against three farm laws is resolved “in farmers’ interest”.
In a series of tweets by his media advisor Raveen Thukral, the former chief minister said he is looking at an alliance with like-minded parties such as breakaway Akali groups, “particularly Dhindsa and Brahmpura factions.”

Priyanka Gandhi suggests greater use of regional media by state leaders at Congress meeting

New Delhi [India]: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra suggested to state party leaders at a meeting here that they should make more use of regional media in their districts for improving connect with people, highlighting the “failures of the BJP-led government” and for creating awareness about party’s policies and programmes.
The meeting of PCC chiefs, AICC general secretaries, in-charges and secretaries was called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The sources said Priyanka Gandhi’s announcement of 40 per cent reservation for women in forthcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh was lauded at the meeting.
They said Priyanka Gandhi urged the leaders to get connected with the regional media in their districts. All Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs spoke at the meeting.
With the party seeing factionalism in various state units, Nagaland PCC chief Kewekhape There said “there should be discipline in the party and rules and regulations should be followed”.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is learnt to have emphasised the need for “justice” in the case of incidents of sacrilege at Bargari in October 2015 when the Shiromani Akali Dal government was in power in the state.
Sources said Sidhu, who has sought replacement of new state Director General of Police (DGP) and Advocate General(AG), raised the issue at the meeting. The appointments of the new DGP and AG were made after Charanjit Singh Channi was chosen Chief Minister of Punjab following the resignation of Capt Amarinder Singh.
The sources said some leaders demanded that Rahul Gandhi should again become party chief.

Sonia Gandhi asks Congress leaders to frame policies to percolate down party’s messages to grassroot level

New Delhi [India]: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday stated that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) releases important and detailed statements every day over the issues in the country but it fails to percolate down to the party’s grassroot cadres at the block and district level and she asked party leaders to frame policies over the matter.

Addressing the General Secretaries, In-Charges and PCC President of the party, during a meeting at the party headquarter here, Sonia Gandhi said, “The AICC releases important and detailed statements almost every day on issues that the nation is facing. But it is my experience that they do not percolate down to our grassroot cadres at the block and district level. There are policy issues on which I find a lack of clarity and cohesion even amongst our state-level leaders.”
She also asked the party leaders to train the workers to take on the unceasing onslaught of malicious disinformation campaigns at the behest of the BJP and RSS.

“You must train our workers to take on the unceasing onslaught of malicious disinformation campaigns at the behest of the BJP/RSS. And you must train our people to fight it while upholding and projecting the core Congress ideology,” the Congress interim President said.

Launching a scathing attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Centre, the senior leader said, “The Modi Government has sought to erode our institutions so it may evade accountability.”

“Our own history bears witness to the fact that if an organisation is to succeed against injustice and inequality. If it is to effectively champion the rights of the marginalised, it must become a widespread agitation down to the grassroots,” she said.

Terming the new members in the party as the “lifeblood” of any political movement, the senior Congress leader said, “Young men and women across the nation seek a movement to give voice to their aspirations. It is our duty to provide them with a platform, as we have done for generations past.”

Sonia Gandhi also gave emphasis on identifying and assigning Congress leaders and office bearers for the task of enrolling members in the party in a transparent fashion. She also talked about the training programmes for the party workers.

“You must ensure the clear delineation of the responsibilities of these individuals at the state, district, block, ward and village level. This is a vital responsibility that you are entrusted with,” she said.

“Training programmes for our workers are therefore an absolute necessity. I want to emphasise that you should take it on priority. The fight to defend our democracy, our Constitution and the Congress Party’s ideology begins with being fully prepared to identify and counter false propaganda,” she added.

Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi presided over a meeting with core party leaders to discuss the upcoming Assembly elections to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, among other issues.

The meeting was held at party headquarters. (ANI)

Congress MLA’s son accused of rape

Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India] : Karan Morwal, son of a Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh, was on Tuesday arrested over the charges of rape after remaining absconding for six months to evade his arrest, informed the police.
Karan is a son of Congress MLA Murli Morwal who represents Badnagar constituency in Ujjain district. The police had declared a reward amount of Rs 25,000 in an attempt to nab him. He was arrested near the Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh on the basis of intelligence inputs acquired by the police.
Early morning, a team of Crime Branch reached Ujjain in search of Karan, from where he was tracked to a location near Maksi Road. After spotting his car on the basis of the number plate, he was arrested, said Jyoti Sharma, in charge of Mahila Police Station
“It was joint operation conducted by by the Indore Women Police Station and Crime Branch,” added Sharma.

Rahul, Priyanka, other Congress leaders reach party HQ for meeting with Sonia Gandhi over 2022 Assembly polls

New Delhi [India]: Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and other Congress leaders have arrived at the Congress party headquarters for the meeting to be presided by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, among other issues.

Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Mohan Markam, Uttarakhand PCC chief Ganesh Godiyal, Jharkhand PCC chief Rajesh Thakur, Maharashtra PCC chief Nana Patole and Punjab PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu have also arrived at the party headquarters in the national capital for the meeting.
Earlier, at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on October 16, it was decided that organisation polls will be held next year and for that, a membership drive will be launched from November 1.

As per sources, the Congress party may hold the organisational election on September 6, 2022, and have its president by October.

As frontal organisations like Indian Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and the party’s Social Media department have passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi as party president, it is expected chorus will be heard in the meeting on Tuesday.

In the previously held CWC meet, the chief ministers of Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh Ashok Gehlot, Charanjit Singh Channi and Bhupesh Baghel, respectively, and other leaders had requested Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the party president post. On this, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala confirmed that Gandhi had assured to consider their requests. (ANI)

2022 Assembly polls: Sonia Gandhi to hold meet with core Congress leaders

New Delhi [India]: Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi will be presiding over a meeting with core party leaders to discuss the upcoming Assembly elections to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, among other issues.
The meeting will be held at party headquarters. As per the party sources on Monday, “a meeting of Congress general secretaries and state in-charges will be held on October 26 at All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters to discuss membership, training, agitation program and strategy for the upcoming assembly polls. This meeting will be presided by party president Sonia Gandhi.”
Pradesh Congress Committee presidents will also be present as well, sources said.
During Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on October 16, it was decided that organisation polls will be held next year and for that, a membership drive will be launched from November 1.
As per sources, the Congress party may hold the organisational election on September 6, 2022 and have its president by October.
As frontal organisations like Indian Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and the party’s Social Media department have passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi as party president, it is expected chorus will be heard in the meeting on Tuesday.
In the previously held CWC meet, CMs of Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh Ashok Gehlot, Charanjit Singh Channi and Bhupesh Baghel, respectively, and other leaders had requested Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the party president post. On this, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala confirmed that Gandhi has assured to consider their requests.

Lalu Yadav’s ‘objectionable’ remark on Cong leader has hurt self-respect of Dalits, says Meira Kumar

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Meira Kumar on Monday slammed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav for using “objectionable language” against its Congress’s Bihar unit in-charge Bhakt Charan Das, claiming that it has hurt the self-respect of Dalit community.
She further alleged that Lalu Yadav’s remark qualifies as an offence under the SC/ST Act. “A respected leader has used objectionable language against Bihar Congress in-charge Bhakta Charan Das, hurting self-respect of Dalit community of Bihar and the country and qualifies as an offence under SC/ST Act,” said the Congress leader while speaking to media persons.
Lalu’s remark comes in as his party is gearing up for upcoming by-elections. On party’s alliance with Congress ahead of by-polls in Bihar, Lalu Yadav said that his party candidates would lose their deposit in the elections if they remain in alliance with the Congress in the state.
Addressing the media persons on this on Sunday, Yadav said, “Would we have left everything to Congress for a loss? For losing deposits?”
When asked about the allegation by Das that by turning its back on the Congress, the RJD was helping the BJP, Lalu Yadav said, “Bhakt Charan is a stupid person”.
Implying that Charan Das is incapable of assessing the situation on the ground.
Congress has also fielded its candidates for the two seats after RJD announced its decision to contest the two seats, creating a rift between the two parties which are allies in the state.
Meanwhile, RJD has decided to field its candidates from both Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur in the by-election in Bihar, which is scheduled to be held on October 30.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said, “Some people of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Congress are weakening Lalu Prasad, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav’s fight to save democracy. Remark of Bihar Congress in-charge Bhakta Charan Das shows that he is a ‘bhakta’ of BJP and NDA. Congress should expel such leaders.”
Congress General Secretary Tariq Anwar condemned Lalu Yadav’s statements and said that such a remark in unfortunate.
He also said, “Nothing is normal for the Grand Alliance in Bihar these days. The reason for this tussle between the two parties is the upcoming by-polls. The Congress party wanted one seat for itself for being a part of the alliance but RJD took a unilateral decision and fielded its candidates from both the seats.”
Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “The Congress party needs to work and fight independently in Bihar. Congress will not depend on any other party for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.”
In 2020, the ruling coalition, NDA has secured a majority with 125-seats in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly of which BJP won on 74 seats, Janata Dal (United) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.
The RJD, on the other hand, emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while Congress only won 19 of the 70 seats it had contested.

CPM is confused over alliance with Congress in Kerala, says BJP MP

New Delhi [India]: Following the remarks of Kerala Chief Minister and politburo member of CPM Pinarayi Vijayan stating that Congress cannot lead the charge of Opposition against the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in the state, BJP MP KJ Alphons on Monday said that CPM is finished and they are completely confused over its alliance with the grand old party.
He further stated that the CPM does not consider Congress as a formidable alliance in the state while on the other hand, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury believes that there is “no alternative” for an alliance. Speaking to ANI, Alphons said, “CPM is finished and they are completely confused. The CPM General Secretary wants an alliance with Congress because he says their is no alternative while they are fighting with each other in Kerala. CPM, which is very powerful in the state, say that they cannot have an alliance with Congress otherwise they will be finished in Kerala. On the other hand, Sitaram Yechury says that they cannot survive without Congress.”
Questioning the party’s motive, the BJP MP said that CPM is joining hands with Congress in West Bengal while they are fighting in Kerala.
“What is the party up to? They don’t have any idealogical difference with Congress because they have been allying with Congress in West Bengal, while they show that they are putting up a fight in Kerala. What are they? Are they fighting with each other or are they with each other?” asked Alphons.
CPM’s Kerala leaders during its Central Committee meeting in Delhi had also questioned the credibility of the Congress and noted that the alliance with regional parties will serve better than allying with Congress.
Terming it as a “political marriage of convenience” Alphons said, “CPM is finished and they have no clue ideologically and practically where to move forward to.”

UP residents would have been saved from COVID-19 if these hospitals existed earlier: Congress leader after PM Modi’s inauguration event

New Delhi[India]: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated nine medical colleges from UP’s Siddharthnagar, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday said that residents of Uttar Pradesh would have been saved from COVID-19 if these hospitals had existed earlier and one would not have seen bodies in the Ganga.
Talking to ANI, Chowdhury said, “As polls are impending, there’s a spree of inauguration of developmental projects.” “If the hospitals existed earlier, people of UP could have been saved from COVID-19. We saw hundreds of bodies in the river Ganga,” he said.
“People of UP are seeing it as nothing but an election allurement,” he added.
PM Modi on Monday inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh from Siddharthnagar.
These nine medical colleges are situated in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.

BJP mixed religion with politics : Alvi

Ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Congress leader Raashid Alvi on Saturday alleged that because Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has connected religion with politics, leaders of other parties are “‘forced to visit religious places” in order to connect with the voters.

New Delhi [India] : Alvi’s statement came ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya scheduled on October 26 to pay obeisance to Lord Rama. Speaking to ANI, Alvi said, “BJP has forced leaders of other parties to visit religious places because it has connected religion with politics. Most of the leaders are doing religious activities as BJP has started doing it.”
“Every party wants to send its message to the public ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year. Arvind Kejriwal is visiting Ayodhya on October 26 to offer prayers to Lord Ram. Every party has the freedom to undertake a religious pilgrimage,” he added.
Kejriwal will visit Ayodhya for ‘Ram Lalla darshan’, informed Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Saturday.
Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to go to Assembly polls early next year. 

Congress will launch massive agitation against fuel price hike from Nov 14th across nation

New Delhi [India]: The Congress party will organise a massive agitation against the rise in petrol and diesel prices from November 14 till November 29.

“We’re going to have continuous agitation against rise in petrol and diesel prices, massive campaigns from November 14 till November 29,” Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said on Saturday.
The protest will witness events like ‘Padayatra’ being taken out by the Congress leaders in their respective areas.

“During these 15 days – one week entire Cong committees will also do ‘Padayatra’ throughout the country in their respective areas,” he added.

Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram also attacked the central government over the increase in fuel prices and said that the taxes should be reduced as suggested by the Reserve Bank of India.

“It’s only the greed of the government which has given rise to petrol and diesel prices. That is why RBI says pump prices deserve lower taxation. RBI is repeatedly telling the government that pump prices must be reduced, said Former finance minister P Chidambaram in Chennai on Saturday.

Petrol and diesel prices were hiked for the fourth consecutive day across the country on Saturday.

With a hike of Rs 0.35, the petrol prices increased to Rs 107.24 per litre in the national capital while the price of diesel was raised by the same amount to Rs 95.97 per litre.

In Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices per litre stand at Rs 113.12 and Rs 104.00 respectively. (ANI)

Congress Central Election Committee meeting commences

New Delhi [India]: The meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Congress commenced on Saturday.
According to top sources, the ‘probable candidates’ for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled next year shall be discussed in the meeting which is being held virtually. Sources said that the party has scrutinized the probable candidates for 150 assembly seats. Out of these 150 seats, control rooms have been set up in 78 assembly segments for the poll strategy and operations.
For a few seats, candidates have been given a green signal by the party and have been asked to hit ground zero and start preparations for the poll battle, said sources.
“Although the Poll dates have not been announced, we are committed to fighting the polls to win. So we are finalising the list much before the time so that the candidates get enough time to reach out to the voters,” the source added.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are scheduled to take place early next year.

Sonia to meet party GS & State Chiefs

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi will chair a meeting of Congress general secretaries, state in-charges, PCC chiefs on Tuesday at party headquarters to discuss the training, membership programmes and chalking out a strategy for the upcoming Assembly polls, said sources.

New Delhi [India] : According to sources, during the meeting, organisational polls, which are expected to take place next year, would also be discussed and Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal has already issued a circular for the meeting. During Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on October 16, it was decided that organisation polls will be held next year and for that, a membership drive will be launched from November 1.
As per sources, the Congress party may hold the organisational election on September 6 and have its president by October.
As five states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Manipur – will go for polls early next year, the Congress party is facing a big challenge to get back to power in four states and retaining the government in Punjab.
As frontal organisations like Indian Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and the party’s Social Media department have passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi as party president, it is expected chorus will be heard in the meeting on Tuesday.
In the CWC meet last week, CMs of Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh Ashok Gehlot, Charanjit Singh Channi and Bhupesh Baghel, respectively, and other leaders had requested Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the party president post. On this, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala confirmed that Gandhi has assured to consider their requests.

UP: Cong to decide candidates

New Delhi [India]: The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Congress will meet on Saturday at the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi’s residence to discuss the ‘probable candidates’ for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled next year.
According to top sources, the party has scrutinized the probable candidates for 150 assembly seats. Out of these 150 seats, control rooms have been set up in 78 assembly segments for the poll strategy and operations. For a few seats, candidates have been given a green signal by the party and have been asked to hit ground zero and start preparations for the poll battle.
“Although the Poll dates have not been announced, we are committed to fighting the Polls to win. So we are finalising the list much before the time so that the candidates get enough time to reach out to the voters,” the source added.
Congress wants to move steadily and preparations are going on at the different layers. A training campaign has been going with the slogan “Prashikshan se Parakram Tak” which has already completed two stages, where party workers at the district level, block Level have already been trained.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be heading to Lucknow after two days for week-long marathon programs and meetings with the Uttar Pradesh Election Committee members and other committees and office-bearers. From October 23, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will flag off Pratigya Yatra from Barabanki.
The Congress has constituted a screening committee for UP Assembly polls under the chairmanship of party leader Bhanwar Jitendra Singh. Congress leaders Deepender Hooda, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Varsha Gaikwad, Ajay Singh Lallu are the members of the committee which has met twice.
Senior Leader Salman Khurshid has also been given a task to prepare a ‘people’s manifesto’ which will be the Vision of Congress for the state. For this, he is touring various districts of the state with the party’s national spokesperson Supriya Shrinate and AICC-Co-Incharges of UP Rohit Chaudhry and Dheeraj Gurjar.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are scheduled to take place early next year.

Rahul Gandhi: ‘Made in India’ is Jumla

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the Centre of “doublespeak” over the reports of an increase in trade deficit with China and dubbed the “made in India’ slogan as ‘jumla’ (rhetoric).

New Delhi [India] : Citing a media report, Gandhi tweeted, “The Usual Doublespeak. #MadeInIndia #Jumla.” Gandhi’s remarks came after Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on Thursday noted that despite the growth in the volume of the trade between the two neighbours, the trade deficit has increased and the imbalance has widened.
Speaking at a seminar on “Leveraging China’s Economy”, Shringla also raised concern about the trade imbalance that has continuously been widening despite growth in the overall volume of the trade.
“Our trade deficit concerns are two-fold – the first is the actual size of the deficit. The trade deficit for the nine months period stood at USD 47 billion. This is the largest trade deficit we have with any country. Second, is the fact that the imbalance has continuously been widening,” said Shringla.
“We have highlighted that widening deficit and increase in trade barriers are issues of concern. These have been regularly flagged at the highest level, most recently at the 2nd Informal Summit between our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and the Chinese President (Xi Jinping) in Chennai in 2019,” he added.
Foreign Secretary stated that bilateral relations generally followed a positive trajectory since 1988 when we re-established contacts at the highest level and advancement of ties was clearly predicated on ensuring that peace and tranquillity were not disturbed.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal slams Amarinder Singh over possible tie-up with BJP

Ludhiana (Punjab) [India]: Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal slammed former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday over the captain’s announcement that his new political outfit can even go with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Punjab election.
Badal alleged that there was a deal between Captain Amarinder Singh and the BJP to brush under the carpet the corruption investigation going on against the Captain and his family members. “The extent to which Captain Sahab compromised with Bharatiya Janata Party became very clear when cases of black money in Swiss Bank accounts, enforcement directorate and income tax cases (against him) were brushed under the carpet when he became the Chief Minister. Their deal was very clear,” said Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Former Union Minister Badal went on to allege that, “A Chief Minister who had taken the oath for Punjab becomes helpless to an extent that he hands over the farming of Punjab to Modi-Shah and stops agriculture in the state.”
Attacking Amarinder Singh’s announcement that the tie-up with the BJP is possible only if the ongoing protest by farmer unions against three farm laws is resolved “in farmers’ interest” she said, “After the death of 800 farmers, today Captain Sahab says that he will get the matter resolved by BJP.”
Alleging that Singh used farmers for his own political agenda she said, “When people made you the Chief Minister, Sunil Jakhar said that you directed the farmers to Delhi. It means you used the farmers. Today we can see that to what extent you fulfilled the agenda of BJP.”
Punjab is slated to go to the polls early next year and Amarinder Singh resigning months before has added a new dimension to the poll arithmetic in the state. Charanjeet Singh Channi took oath as Chief Minister days after Amarinder Singh stepped down.

“Congress damaged own interests by not trusting me”

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India] : Hitting back at Congress leader Harish Rawat, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said the party has damaged its own interests by not trusting him and giving Punjab Congress into the hands of “an unstable person like Navjot Singh Sidhu”.
Amarinder Singh, who has indicated his willingness to ally with BJP in the forthcoming Punjab assembly polls, also hit out at Harish Rawat for questioning his secular credentials. In tweets made by Raveen Thukral, his media advisor, the former Chief Minister said Sidhu, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole and Telangana Congress chief had come to Congress from BJP and Congress was in power in Maharashtra in alliance with Shiv Sena, an erstwhile ally of BJP.
Amarinder Singh had resigned last month as chief minister and stated that the party leadership had let him down.
He said on Thursday that Sidhu, who had been made party chief in Punjab, “was only loyal to himself”.
“You’re apprehension I’ll damage Congress interests in Punjab. Fact is @harishrawatcmuk ji, the party has damaged its own interests by not trusting me and giving @INCPunjab into the hands of an unstable person like @sherryontopp who’s only loyal to himself’: @capt_amarinder,” Thukral said in a tweet, quoting Amarinder Singh.
The former chief minister said he had been fighting court cases against Badals for the last 10 years.
“Today you’re accusing me of helping my rival @Akali_Dal_for 4 and a half years @harishrawatcmukji. Is that why you think I’ve been fighting court cases against them for the last 10 years? And why I’ve won @INCIndia all elections in Punjab since 2017? @capt_amarinder,” Thukral said.
“And what are you doing with @ShivsenaComms in Maharashtra? Or are you saying @harishrawatcmuk Ji that it’s ok to join forces with so-called communal parties as long as it suits @INCIndia purpose. What’s this if not sheer political opportunism?’: @capt_amarinder.
“Stop talking about secularism @harishrawatcmuk ji. Don’t forget @INCIndia took in @sherryontopp after he was with @BJP4India for 14 years. And where did Nana Patole and Revnath Reddy come from if not RSS? And Pargat Singh was with @Akali_Dal_for 4 years!’: @capt_amarinder,” he added.
Harish Rawat, who is a Congress general secretary and party’s Punjab in-charge, had said on Wednesday that the former Chief Minister has killed “secular Amarinder” within him.
“If he (Amarinder Singh) wants to eat crow and go with BJP, he can. Who can stop him if he can’t stay with his old commitment to secularism? He was considered a symbol of “Sarvdharm Sambhav” and was connected to Congress’ traditions for a long time. If he wants to go, he should,” Rawat had said.
Amarinder Singh had announced on Tuesday that he will launch a new political party soon to fight the forthcoming assembly polls in the state and is hopeful of a tie-up with BJP if the ongoing protest by farmer unions against three farm laws is resolved “in farmers’ interest”.
Assembly elections in Punjab are scheduled to be held next year.

Family seeking justice : Priyanka Gandhi

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said that Arun Valmiki, a sanitation worker, had died in police custody in Uttar Pradesh and his family is seeking justice.

Agra (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : “Arun Valmiki has died in police custody. His family is seeking justice. The Uttar Pradesh government has acted against the message of Bhagwan Valmiki on his jayanti,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet. She sought a high-level probe and strict action against the “guilty” personnel of Agra Police.
She also sought compensation for his family.
A sanitisation worker, who was arrested by the police in the connection with a theft of Rs 25 lakh from a Malkhana (warehouse) on October 19, died in police custody on Wednesday.
Agra Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Muniraj G said that “the deceased admitted to his crime during the investigation and police recovered Rs 25 lakh from his house successfully”.
“During the search and recovery of the stolen money, the deceased fell ill. The police and his family rushed him to the hospital where he is declared brought dead by the doctors,” the SSP further said.
The First Information Report (FIR) has been registered and further action will be taken, the SSP said.
Speaking to ANI, Agra Additional Director General (DGP) Rajiv Krishna said the family has filed a complaint “where they said the deceased died because he was beaten to death in the custody”.
Action will be taken if there was any negligence in the custody.
“Our officers are in contact with his family, they are cooperating in the case. Action will be taken if there was any negligence,” he said.

Priyanka Gandhi detained on way to Agra

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi has been detained by police in Uttar Pradesh after she was stopped from travelling to Agra to meet the family of a sanitation worker who died in police custody.

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : While stopping her, Police told her, “You do not have permission, we cannot allow you.” “Section 144 is imposed…Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is being taken to Police Lines. She will not be allowed to proceed to Agra,” Police official said.
Her car had been stopped at the first toll plaza on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.
Vadra was going to meet the family of a sanitation worker who was nabbed in connection with a theft and died in Police custody.


In response, Vadra said that the moment she tries to visit any other place than the party office, the administration tries to stop her. “The moment I try to visit any place other than the party office, then they (Administration) try to stop me…It is also causing inconvenience to the public,” Vadra said.
“They say I can not go to Agra. They stop me wherever I go. Should I keep sitting in restaurants? Just because it is politically convenient for them? I want to meet them, what is the big deal?,” she added.
A sanitation worker, who was arrested by Police yesterday in connection with a theft of Rs 25 Lakhs from a warehouse on 17th October, died in Police custody.
ADG Agra, Rajiv Krishna said, “Our officers are in contact with his family. They’re cooperating. Action will be taken if there was any negligence. The family has filed a complaint, they suspect that he was beaten up by the Police following which he died. FIR registered, matter it will be probed.”

Flags off Shobha Yatra on Valmiki Jayanti

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday flagged off Shobha Yatra, an annual parade that takes place on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti, from the party’s headquarters in Delhi.

New Delhi [India] : Speaking on the occasion, Gandhi said, “Greetings on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti! Maharishi Valmiki propagated the idea of love and brotherhood. Our constitution is based on the ideas of Maharishi Valmiki.” “However, these days we can observe that his ideology is being attacked. The interest of minorities in the country is being suppressed. On behalf of the Congress party, I would like to say that we will not let this trend of suppressing minorities continue,” he added.


Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tribute to Maharishi Valmiki on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti and recalled his seminal contributions towards chronicling our rich past and glorious culture.
“I bow in reverence to Maharishi Valmiki on the special occasion of Valmiki Jayanti. We recall his seminal contributions towards chronicling our rich past and glorious culture. His emphasis on social empowerment keeps inspiring us,” tweeted PM Modi.
Every year, Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of the Ashwin month to mark the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki. 

Why 40 pc tickets for women? : BSP

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Wednesday termed Congress’ announcement of 40 per cent reservation for women in forthcoming assembly polls as an election gimmick and asked why the scheme was not announced in other election-bound states.

New Delhi [India] : BSP spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadoria said that the Congress party has a long history of deceit. “They have announced 40 per cent seats for women in Uttar Pradesh with an eye on the upcoming Assembly elections. I want to ask Priyanka Ji, who is a woman herself and also the national general secretary of the party, that Assembly elections are being held in five states. Women do not reside in other states? Haven’t women already lived in other states? Then why such announcements are being made only for Uttar Pradesh?” asked the BSP leader.
Bhadoria further hit out on the Congress party and alleged that the party has always been doing “election drama” (election gimmick).
“I remember when Baba Saheb brought the Hindu Code Bill for the rights of women. It was the Congress party that opposed the bill that was going to empower women,” he said.
Bhadoria further alleged that the reservation bill for women was never passed by Congress during its tenure at the Centre.
“Women’s reservation bill was never passed by the Congress government despite so many years in power. Not only this, Congress always used to play a kind of trick with the Dalits. On one hand, Charanjit Singh Channi has been made the Chief Minister and on the other hand, he is humiliated by Sidhu. It means to say that in the Congress party whether there are women, Dalits and backward, they have never given any rights,” he said.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said that if any women want to bring a change in society by contesting an election, she can join the Congress, and women’s strength and sympathy can bring a revolution.
“The Congress party has decided that it will give 40 per cent of the total election tickets to women in upcoming assembly polls in the state. These tickets will be given on the basis of merit and not just on the basis of caste or religion,” Vadra had said.

40 pc seats to women in other states : TMC

Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday took a dig at Congress’ decision to give 40 per cent tickets to women in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and said that it should follow the same module for other states too.

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : “Under the visionary leadership of @MamataOfficial, AITC has shown the way to ensure increased participation of women in politics, in this country. We’re the first party to give 40 per cent seats to women in LS elections!” tweeted the TMC from its official handle. The party further alleged that Congress is understandably trying to emulate the TMC and said that their party is the first to give 40 per cent seats to women in the Lok Sabha elections.
“Amid such dire times, @INCIndia is understandably trying to emulate and one can only hope that this is genuine and not tokenism. If they are to be taken seriously, they must give 40 per cent seats to women in states other than UP as well,” it added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced that the party has decided that it will give 40 per cent of the total election tickets to women in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
“The Congress party has decided that it will give 40 per cent of the total election tickets to women in upcoming assembly polls in the state. These tickets will be given on the basis of merit and not just on the basis of caste or religion,” said Vadra, who is the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee in charge of Uttar Pradesh.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won a landslide victory winning 312 Assembly seats. The party secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member Assembly. Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, BSP won 19 while Congress could manage to win only seven seats.

US committee approves report recommending contempt-of-Congress charges against Trump ally

Washington [US]: The US committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack voted on Tuesday (local time) to approve a criminal contempt report on Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon, CNN reported.
The committee is selected by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The report will now be referred to the House for a vote. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told CNN on Tuesday that he expects the full House to vote on criminal contempt charges for Bannon before the end of the week.
The report will be referred to the Justice Department after the vote, CNN reported.
The contempt report frames the efforts that the committee made to get a witness to comply with the subpoena, and the failure by the witness to do so.
On January 6, a group of supporters of former President Donald Trump entered the US Capitol in a bid to protest the lawmakers certifying the 2020 election results from several states that Trump said were fraudulent. One protester was shot dead during the incident and the law enforcement authorities charged 500 people for participating in the event.

Congress will come to power in Andhra, Telangana in 2023 assembly elections, says Veerappa Moily

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Indian National Congress leader Veerappa Moily on Tuesday asserted that the Congress party will come to power in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the upcoming 2023 assembly elections.
Addressing an event on the occasion of Eid Milap, Moily said, “Rajiv Gandhi was a young leader not only in the country but also in the world. The Congress leader who gave the right to vote to the youth at the age of 18, sacrificed his life for the country. So, Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi should not be forgotten.” Moily praised the government of the former Prime Minister of India and said that he solved the problems of the Assam, Tripura and Tamil Nadu people when they were struggling with their problems.
“When Assam, Tripura and Tamil Nadu were struggling with problems, Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi solved their problems. So, Congress will come to power in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the upcoming 2023 assembly elections,” he said.
He said that many national leaders have sacrificed their lives to preserve the unity of the country. “We are again happy today because of the sacrifices of those noble national leaders,” Moily added.
Further, Moily stated that development, unity, peace, religious harmony were preserved when the Congress leader ruled the country. “To eradicate corruption, anti-corruption was also brought in India,” he said.

BJP alleges CWC member claimed Sardar Patel colluded with Jinnah to keep Kashmir out of India

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday slammed the Congress alleging that its leader Tariq Hameed Karra had claimed that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel colluded with Muhammad Ali Jinnah to keep Kashmir out of India.

New Delhi [India] : Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra queried whether Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had objected to Karra’s remarks during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Saturday. “Today it has been published in the newspapers that in the CWC meeting held two days ago, some questions were raised regarding Kashmir. At the meeting, senior Congress leader and CWC member Tariq Hameed Karra created an atmosphere of confusion regarding Kashmir. He also said Jawaharlal Nehru ji had integrated Jammu and Kashmir into India and Sardar Patel tried to keep Kashmir out of India,” Patra said.
“Karra had said that Sardar Patel colluded with Jinnah and was trying to keep Kashmir separate from India. When Sardar Patel was being vilified in the CWC meeting, did Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi object to it?” he asked.
Patra said that the BJP wanted to know if Karra will be removed from the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
“Karra, who hails from Kashmir had only one aim at the CWC meeting that was to make Rahul Gandhi AICC president again. We all know that Congress is a party of only one family. The sole goal of Congress is how it can carry forward the legacy of the Nehru-Gandhi family and maintain the culmination of sycophancy. BJP wants to know if Karra has been reprimanded and if he will be removed from the CWC,” the BJP leader said.

‘Congress Committee meet just a formality’

New Delhi [India] : Congress veteran and former external affairs minister Natwar Singh on Sunday said the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting was just a formality as Sonia Gandhi has been the full-time boss of the party for 21 years. Speaking to ANI, Singh said, “CWC meeting was just a formality as Sonia Gandhi has been the full-time boss of the party for 21 years. The next election of the party president will be held on September 2022. There was no vacancy for the party president. Sonia Gandhi is the all-time boss of the Congress party. She holds all the reins in the party for 21 years.”
The Congress veteran said there was no concrete outcome of the CWC meeting held on Saturday.
“There is no concrete outcome from the CWC meeting. G23 members, who made a lot of noise before the meeting, were quiet during the meeting,” Singh pointed out.
Asked whether the Congress party has called a CWC meeting before the upcoming assembly elections in several states next year to unite the leaders in the party, Singh responded, “Congress party should work together otherwise it will lag behind the BJP in politics and if this continues, it will be left behind.”
Natwar Singh said the way the party is performing on the ground in past elections, it will not win in more than one state out of five in assembly polls.
“I do not think the Congress party would register its victory in more than one state because it does not have an organisation….but it is also true that there is no other party other than Congress which can play the role of opposition,” he added.
Congress Working Committee meeting concluded on Saturday. The CWC meeting is the highest body in the Congress party which decides the presidential elections and many other issues.
Taking a veiled dig at the group of 23 (G-23) leaders, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said that there is no need to speak to her through the media adding that she appreciates frankness.
“I have always appreciated frankness. There is no need to speak to me through the media. So let us all have a free and honest discussion. But what should get communicated outside the four walls of this room is the collective decision of the Congress Working Committee (CWC),” she said at the CWC meeting chaired by her at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office in New Delhi.
A delegation of 23 members (G-23) of Congress in August last year wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi demanding a slew of organisational reforms. Ahead of the meeting, the G-23 leaders demanded elections for CWC members, Central Election Committee (CEC) members, and Parliamentary Board Elections.
Earlier, senior party leader Kapil Sibal, who is a member of the G-23, had said that the party leaders are unaware of who is making the decisions in the party as there is no president.
Sonia Gandhi was made interim president by CWC after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as the president of AICC accepting the responsibility of poll debacle in the 2019 general elections. 

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