[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Congress vice president has chosen to side with the aging Virbhadra Singh – a six-term chief minister – despite opposition from his own aides
Putting to rest all speculations over who will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday, endorsed incumbent Virbhadra Singh to lead the party’s campaign.
If Virbhadra, who is facing stiff oppositions from within the Congress’ ranks – mostly from confidantes of the Congress vice president – manages to lead the grand old party to victory, he will be appointed chief minister for a record seventh term. The aging Congress veteran had recently indicated that he will not contest the elections due later this year, signaling his anger at the party leadership’s nervousness over projecting him as the face of its campaign.
Rahul, who launched the Congress’ poll campaign for Himachal – one of the few states in the country where the party has lost power to the BJP – on Saturday at a massive rally in the state’s Mandi district made it clear that he was ditching his confidantes – former Union minister Anand Sharma and state Congress president Sukhwinder Sukhu in favour of Virbhadra.
“Virbhadra Singh ji has done tremendous development in Himachal Pradesh as six-time chief minister. He will be CM for seventh time. This will have full backing of the party” Rahul said while addressing the rally in Mandi.
The Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi knows well that though Anand Sharma and Sukhu may be his close aides, neither of them know Himachal Pradesh, its people and politics as well as the 83-year-old Virbhadra, the erstwhile ruler of the Rampur-Bushahr principality in north Himachal.
The BJP, which has several prominent faces in the states including Union health minister JP Nadda, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his son Anurag Thakur, has been hoping that the factional feuds within the Congress and its campaign against the alleged corruption of the Virbhadra government will help it form a government in this northern hill state.
Although Virbhadra is the Congress’ best bet to lead the campaign in Himachal, the veteran warhorse who has never lost an election – having been elected to the state assembly seven times and to the Lok Sabha for five terms – could also be the party’s biggest liability.
The CBI is pursuing a case of disproportionate assets against Virbhadra, his wife and former MP Pratibha Singh, their son Vikramaditya and daughter Aparajita. The cases, which Virbhadra has maintained are “politically motivated and filed at the behest of the BJP leadership”, will certainly be used by his opponents – both within the Congress and those from the opposition – as ammunition against him during the polls.
However, it seems that despite the obvious challenge and even the possibility that the CBI and the courts could crackdown against Virbhadra in the run up to the assembly polls giving a clear advantage to the BJP, Rahul has chosen to place his party’s fate in the hands of the octogenarian. In a larger perspective, this decision possibly is also indicative of Rahul’s willingness to make peace and promote the party’s old guard even at the cost of his own loyalists – something that senior leaders of the Congress have been hoping for with the impending elevation of the Nehru-Gandhi scion as the party chief- possibly within this month itself.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Bihar caste census results: Greater population, greater rights is our pledge, says Rahul Gandhi
RJD president Lalu Yadav also issued a statement noting that the exercise will set the tone for nationwide caste census which will be undertaken when they form the next government at the Centre.
Nitish Kumar led Bihar government revealed caste survey results on Monday. The opposition including the Congress welcomed the results and urged the central government to conduct a similar exercise at the national level.
Speaking on the matter, Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is also a vocal supporter of nationwide caste census, stated that Bihar’s survey revealed that 84 percent of the people in the state are Other Backward Classes (OBC’s), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribe (STs). He added that their rights should be provided based on their population.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote that out of 90 secretaries of the central government, only three are OBCs, who handle only 5 per cent of India’s budget. Therefore, it is important to know the caste statistics of India. He further mentioned that greater the population, the greater the rights and that it is their pledge.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the caste census results revealed the economic situation of the people belonging to different groups. He added that the census will help the government to take action in order to ascertain social justice and upliftment of all sections.
The Janata Dal (United) leader also called for an all-party meeting on Tuesday to share the details of Bihar caste census report and deliberate what further steps needed to be taken. Reports stated that nine parties are expected to participate in the meeting.
RJD president Lalu Yadav, who is Kumar’s ally also issued a statement noting that the exercise will set the tone for nationwide caste census which will be undertaken when they form the next government at the Centre.
Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh urged the centre to release the results of caste census. He added that holding caste-census has become essential for providing a firmer foundation for social empowerment programmes and for deepening social justice.
Madhya Pradesh: PM Modi lays foundation stone for projects worth Rs 19,000 crore in Gwalior
PM Modi underscored that the double engine government brought Madhya Pradesh among the top 10 states in terms of development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for projects worth more than Rs 19,000 crore in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday. Addressing a gathering in Gwalior, PM Modi said that their target is to ensure Madhya Pradesh emerges as one of the top three states, adding that the vote of the people of the state will help them achieve this goal.
He claimed that people who had 60 years could not bring development and always played with the sentiments of the poor and divided the society on the basis of caste. Asserting that the opposition have hatred towards growth because of their politics, PM Modi underlined that Madhya Pradesh has faith in the double engine government which means double development of the state.
He further noted that the next five years would be crucial for Madhya Pradesh’s development and that the double engine government is necessary in the state. He mentioned that nearly 2.25 lakh families will enter into their new homes before Dussehra, Dhanteras and Diwali this year in Madhya Pradesh.
The Prime Minister stated that under the government of vikas-virodhi (apparently referring to opposition), law and order collapses. He noted that beheading took place openly in Rajasthan. He asserted that in states ruled by the opposition, crime and corruption have increased.
PM Modi underscored that the double engine government brought Madhya Pradesh among the top 10 states in terms of development. In addition, he hailed that Gwalior-Chambal has given bravehearts for the security of the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi further guaranteed that India will be one of the top three economies in the world in the next few years. The Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to be carried out in Madhya Pradesh in or before November 2023. Earlier in the day, PM Modi addressed a rally in poll bound Rajasthan.
Congress left no stone unturned to loot Rajasthan: PM Modi in Chittorgarh rally
PM Modi asserted that the paper leak mafia will be held accountable and will be given harshest punishment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a scathing attack on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over the infighting of Congress in the state. He slammed the state government over multiple issues, including crime against women. He claimed that the Congress government in the state has left no stone unturned to loot Rajasthan.
Addressing a public rally in Chittorgarh in poll-bound Rajasthan, PM Narendra Modi stated that the state has decided to save themselves by bringing back the BJP government. He asserted that the Congress formed the government by misleading people but could not run it, adding that CM Gehlot was busy saving his chair, whereas half of the Congress leaders were actively trying to unseat him.
The Prime Minister further claimed that CM Ashok Gehlot has accepted defeat and is requesting BJP to not stop schemes. He assured that on coming to power in Rajasthan, BJP will not stop any public scheme but will try to improve it. He also accused the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government of destroying the state in the last five years by not taking adequate steps to combat crime against women.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed that it pains him that the state tops in the crime list. He continued that he is pained when atrocities take place against daughters anywhere in the country but Congress has made this a tradition in Rajasthan. He added that the message of people of Rajasthan has reached Congress leaders and that the Chief Minister is also aware that the countdown of Congress government’s farewell has begun.
Speaking on the alleged paper leak issue, PM Modi asserted that the paper leak mafia will be held accountable and will be given harshest punishment. He noted that they will go to the bottom of the paper leak matter and actions will be taken against those who have committed corruption and looted money of the poor.
While addressing the gathering in the poll bound Rajasthan, PM Modi underlined that they are witnessing how leaders of Congress alliance are issuing derogatory remarks about women. He claimed that the alliance is very angry with the Women’s Reservation Act and that they don’t want women to get their rights.
He remarked that there is only one face in elections and that is (Kamal) lotus. The 2023 Rajasthan Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to be held in or before November.