[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A day after Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik, reacting to Rahul Gandhi mentioning reports of violence in Kashmir, said he will send Rahul Gandhi an aircraft to visit the valley and observe the ground situation, the Congress leader today (Tuesday, August 13) accepted the invite.
However, taking a dig at Malik’s “gracious invitation”, Rahul said he did not need a plane but the freedom to travel and meet people, leaders and soldiers there.
“Dear Governor Malik, a delegation of opposition leaders and I will take you up on your gracious invitation to visit J&K and Ladakh,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. “We won’t need an aircraft but please ensure us the freedom to travel and meet the people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed over there.”
Another Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor, said to the Governor’s invite: “Why only @RahulGandhi, Governor Sahib? On behalf of Congress, I had asked in Lok Sabha for an all-party delegation to be invited to J&K to see the #Kashmir situation for ourselves! Do arrange such a trip instead of grandstanding.”
On Monday, the J&K governor had hit out at Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that there have been reports of violence in Kashmir. He had said Rahul Gandhi should feel ashamed about the behaviour of one of his leaders who was talking like an “idiot” in Parliament.
“I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak up. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this,” Malik had said. He was replying to a question about statements and reports by some leaders and the media about the violence in Kashmir.
Gandhi’s sarcastic remark for freedom to travel comes against the backdrop of the Jammu and Kashmir government turning back several opposition leaders from the Srinagar airport, including the Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad and prominent Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja.
Leaders of the two mainstream regional parties, Omar Abdullah of the National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party are among the scores of political leaders detained to forestall protests and rallies.
Discontent has simmered in Kashmir since the early hours of August 5, when phone and Internet lines were suspended and restrictions on movement and assembly of people clamped. Since the clampdown, rumours and standalone accounts of violence and retaliation by security forces have swirled in the Valley but almost all of them have been denied by the government.
In a statement, the Union home ministry on Monday admitted to “isolated stone pelting incidents” but added that they were “insignificant”.
“In Srinagar, keeping in view the possibility of terrorists, militants and mischievous elements trying to disturb public order and peace, reasonable restrictions were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas,” the ministry added.
Home Minister Amit Shah had defended the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir during the debate on the passage of the two laws, underlining that these had been placed as a preventive measure so that there was no loss of lives as against the past when such measures were only taken after people died.
While the Centre is monitoring the situation directly, a News18 report quoted top Union government officials as saying that the decision on whether to allow the Congress leader and other political figures will be taken by the local district administration.
They said that the permission for political leaders to visit Kashmir or meet detained leaders such as Omar Abudllah, Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah may not come just yet.
Government officials also said that the decision to relax movement and communication restrictions will be taken by the local administration and not by Delhi.
“It is a trade-off between peddling fake news and spreading rumours and inconvenience,” said the officer when asked for how long will the Valley’s residents be inconvenienced by the restrictions, especially where communication clampdown is concerned.
Meanwhile, state government spokesperson and Principal Secretary Rohit Kansas told reporters that restrictions will be “relaxed in a phased manner”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Rahul Gandhi claims Congress is winning upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed his confidence in his party’s ability to win the upcoming legislative elections in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan on Sunday. The Wayanad MP asserted at an event in the nation’s capital that there is no way we are not going to win any of them.
They are really close and he thinks they will be able to win, he said. Rahul Gandhi said, right now, he would say we are probably winning Telangana, they are definitely winning Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. By the year’s conclusion, elections are scheduled for the aforementioned states, he said.
The Congress MP said that the BJP wins districts and doesn’t allow the opposition to create a narrative as an important lesson that the party learned in Karnataka, where it staged a comeback earlier this year with overwhelming majorities.
He further said, they battled in a way in Karnataka that stopped the BJP from controlling the narrative, contrary to what they did there.
Gandhi claimed that the party sought to stray from the Opposition’s call for a caste census by using the insults leveled by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri against Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali as a distraction in the Lok Sabha.
He continued, every time we bring a topic to the table, they use this type of nonsense to divert, and they have now learned how to deal with it. They know that a caste census is a fundamental thing that the people of India want, and they don’t want to have that discussion.
Gandhi claimed that one of the key elements in Telangana, MP, and Chhattisgarh was controlling the narrative, which contributed significantly to Congress’ victory in Karnataka.
He stated, what we did in Karnataka was we provided the state with a clear vision and then we controlled the narrative.
Rahul Gandhi referred to the One Nation, one-election debate as one of the side problems the BJP used as an excuse to sidetrack from the important issues.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Home Minister Amit Shah offers prayers at Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja | Watch here
Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday visited Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Pandal. On the auspicious occasion, the Home Minister along with his family offered prayers to Lord Ganesha. Every year, Amit Shah visits Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha.
Lalbaugcha Raja is one of the oldest and the most popular mandals in the metropolis attracting around one crore devotees including celebrities and politicians. Celebrities who visited Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesh this year includes Shah Rukh Khan, Kartik Aryan, Vicky Kaushal, Pulkit Sharma, Manjot Singh and Varun Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Esha Deol, Sunny Leone, Urfi Javed among others.
Following his visit to Lalbaugcha Raja, Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also seen along with the Home Minister seeking blessings from Lord Ganesha.
In the evening, Amit Shah is set to take part in the Laxmanrao Inamdar Memorial lecture, which will be organized at the Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall on the Fort campus of Mumbai University. He will depart for Delhi at 7 pm. According to an official statement from the Mumbai University, Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar will also attend the event.
The Memorial lecture is being conducted by the varsity in association with Sahakar Bharati, a pan-India organisation of Co-Operators and Co-Operatives, founded by Inamdar, popularly known as the ‘Vakil Saheb’ of RSS.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was present at the first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee that took place under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel.
One Nation, One Election: Former President Ram Nath Kovind chairs first official meeting in Jodhpur
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and the political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
The first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee was conducted on Saturday under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel. The meeting witnessed the participation of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad among others.
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and recognised national political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’, according to reports. In addition, the committee members also decided that if any of the political parties want to seek an appointment with the committee, it will be allowed to give their suggestions.
The committee members also deliberated to get the views of the stakeholders like the Election Commission of India, Law Commission Of India and other bodies. Reportedly, the members also primarily discussed how the committee will function and on which issues it needs to have deliberations with the concerned to build a consensus on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
Furthermore, the panel also discussed how it needs to examine various scenarios for the simultaneous elections and make recommendations on how situations like a hung assembly or adoption of a no-confidence motion will be tackled.
Along with Kovind, Azad and Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former chairman of the 15th Finance Commission N.K Singh, former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari are the other names, who are the part of the eight-member panel.
However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declined an invitation to be part of the eight-member committee formed by the Union government to examine the ‘One nation, One election’ concept. The Congress leader also did not attend the first official meeting in Jodhpur. As per reports, the committee will look into the feasibility of holding not only Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, but also elections to municipalities and panchayats.