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Rahul Gandhi adamant on quitting, say reports, Congress appeals ‘no speculation please’



State of Congress: a party cut off from society, preoccupied with leadership

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Congress today (Monday, May 27) urged the media not to resort to speculation or gossip amid leaks about the proceedings at a working committee meeting on Saturday and reports of Rahul Gandhi resigning as party president.

The appeal came after reports about Congress president Rahul Gandhi pulling up senior Congress leaders of focusing on their son’s constituency to the detriment of party’s poll campaign in their states.

In the churning that is on in the party, six of the Congress state unit chiefs were reported to have sent their resignations to the party headquarters, owning responsibility for the poll debacle.

Rahul Gandhi, whose offer to resign was unanimously rejected by the Congress Working Committee on Saturday, was reported to have made up his mind to step down, reports said today.

One Congress leader was reported to have said that Rahul has asked senior functionaries of the party to find his replacement soon.

However, Gandhi was “not abandoning the post” until the party finds a new person for the top job, but is “determined to quit”, reported NDTV. It also reported that both his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka agree with his decision although they had initially tried to convince him against it.

Rahul insisted that he alone had to take the responsibility for the electoral debacle of the Congress party and a change of guard could push the party towards new thinking, reported TheWire.

“It is not necessary that the president should be from Gandhi family,” NDTV quoted Congress sources as saying. He reportedly shot down the idea that his sister Priyanka could be his replacement.  “Don’t drag my sister into it,” Gandhi is supposed to have said when Priyanka’s name came up, according to NDTV.

Rahul has pulled up senior leaders like P Chidambaram and Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan chief ministers Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot for focussing only on the constituencies from where their sons were contesting, media reports said.

He also supposedly said that senior leaders of the party did not back his “chowkidar chorhai” campaign enough.

Meanwhile, TheWire reported, the Congress is also reflecting on who could be its next parliamentary party leader. Mallikarjun Kharge, who lost from his stronghold of Gulbarga in Karnataka, had led the Congress in the last Lok Sabha.

A Congress leader said that Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, MP from Baharampur in West Bengal, were under consideration for the post. While Tharoor appears to have more support in the CWC, some Congress leaders feel that Chowdhury, who is the senior-most MP, should lead the party in the 17th Lok Sabha.

The party is likely to decide over the next few days. The first session of the 17th Lok Sabha is expected to begin in the first week of June, from June 6.

Like last time, the party has again fallen short of the required numbers to nominate one of its elected MPs for the leader of opposition position. A minimum of 55 seats, or at least 10% of the total strength of Lok Sabha, is required for that chair. Congress could get only 52 seats in the recently-concluded elections.

Amid all these reports, the Congress issued a statement calling for an end to conjectures and speculation.

Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala asked the media to respect the sanctity of the closed-door meeting of the Congress Working Committee that took place on Saturday after the party won just 52 seats in the Lok Sabha in the recently-concluded elections.

“CWC held a collective deliberation on the performance of the party, the challenges before it as also the way ahead, instead of casting aspersions on the role or conduct of any specific individual,” Surjewala said.

“Various conjectures, speculations, insinuations, assumptions, gossip and rumour mongering in a section of the media is uncalled for and unwarranted,” Surjewala said in a statement. Surjewala requested the media “to not fall into the trap of conjectures or speculations”.


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Fee hike protest at Allahabad University: Students attempt Bhu Samadhi as police officials jostle to break the protest | WATCH

The students of Allahabad University have been protesting against the 400% hike in their fees for the past three weeks.



AU Protest

Amid the ongoing protests against 400% fee hike in Allahabad University, a group of students on Tuesday attempted to take Bhu Samadhi as policemen jostle to break the protest, which is continued in the university for the last two weeks.

A video of student protesters’ tussle with police officials is doing rounds on social media. In the video, the police officials can see attempting to arrest a protester while the student protesters resisting against the police action.

This came a day after a group of students locked the university gate to save student protesters from police crackdown, forcing many students to return without attending classes. Meanwhile, the police broke the lock put up by the students at the university gate.

On the same day, former UP cadre IPS officer Amitabh Thakur also extended his support to the Allahabad University students protesting against the 400% fee hike, calling the move unfair and undemocratic.

The students of Allahabad University have been protesting against the 400% hike in their fees for the past three weeks.

Expressing his disappointment over the police crackdown on protesting students, Thakur on Monday said 400% hike is not only undemocratic but also very sad for the poor and weaker sections of the society. Today, the students are being stopped from participating in protests. This is an anarchic situation, he told reporters.

On Monday, Richa Singh, former president of Allahabad University students union, said the protest against the 400 per cent fee hike will continue until it is rolled back. Today, when the inmates of the girls’ hostel were coming out from the hostel, the main gate (of the hostel) was closed on the orders of the vice chancellor, she said.

Some students of the university had put a lock on the gate of the university, which was opened with the help of the police. Strict action will be initiated against those students, who are creating obstructions like this, the city SP Santosh Kumar Meena said.

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Race for Congress president: Shashi Tharoor, Pawan Bansal collect nomination papers, no sign of Gehlot yet

M Mistry said that Shashi Tharoor would file his nomination on September 30. He was not confirmed about Pawan Bansal’s nomination. He said that it might be for someone else.



Shashi Tharoor

Senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal have taken nomination papers for the election of the Congress president. Congress’ central election authority chairman Madhusudhan Mistry said that they have briefed Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi about work done so far regarding Congress presidential elections. The elections would happen as per the scheduled date and time. Till now nominations forms have been taken by Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal.

Mistry said Shashi Tharoor would file his nomination on September 30. He was not sure when Pawan Bansal would file his nomination. Mistry said that it might be for someone else.

He said that the process for filing nomination would be held between September 24 and September 30 and the final list would be published at 5 pm on October 8. The polling, if needed, would be held on October 17. The counting of votes would be taken up on October 19 and the result would be declared on the same day.

Meanwhile, some media reports said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was out of the race for Congress president. Former Congress leader Sanjay Jha said on Twitter that everyone was aware that the revolt in the Rajasthan Congress ranks was engineered by Ashok Gehlot. Jha said Gehlot had ended up disqualifying himself for the post of Congress President automatically. The former Congress leader pitched for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to become the Congress President, supported by Sachin Pilot and Shashi Tharoor as Working Presidents.

Not sparing a dig at the Gandhi family, BJP leader Amit Malviya said both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Minister and Congress President at the same time. Ashok Gehlot just wanted to be Chief Minister along with being the Congress President, if elected. Malviya wondered why the Congress had different standards for its leaders and people from the Gandhi family.

Efforts are still on to get Rahul Gandhi back in the saddle as Congress president. Nearly two weeks ago, the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee passed a resolution to appoint Rahul Gandhi as party president. The resolution was moved by CM Ashok Gehlot.

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Raids on PFI: Section 144 in Jamia Nagar, Delhi police warns Jamia students not to hold any protest outside university campus

The Delhi Police started patrolling in Shaheen Bagh amid PFI raids in entire Okhla region.



Raids on PFI

Multiple probe agencies including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Anti-Terror squad are carrying out the second round of raids at several Popular Front of India (PFI) locations across the country.

On the instructions of the National Investigation Agency, multiple probe agencies have conducted raids at PFI offices in eight different states including Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

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At least 300 PFI members have been taken into custody by security agencies across several states while around 30 people linked with PFI have been detained from Nizamuddin and Shaheen Bagh after an early morning raid by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.

Around a dozen of people with connections with PFI have been detained from Shaheen Bagh and nearby areas, reports said.

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Amid the ongoing crackdown against PFI in Delhi, the police warned the Jamia Millia University students against holding any protests inside and outside the university campus. The Jamia Millia University and Shaheen Bagh were centres of anti-CAA protests in Delhi in December 2019.

In order to keep the law and order situation in check, the Delhi Police imposed Section 144 in Delhi’s Okhla region which includes areas of Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar, where Jamia Miallia Islamia University is situated from September 19 to November 11.

Delhi Police also warned the Jamia Millia Islamia students and teachers not to assemble in and around the campus as police have imposed restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC in the entire Okhla area. However, Section 144 of the CrPC prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area. Violation of the order is punishable under section 188 of the IPC.

The Delhi Police started patrolling in Shaheen Bagh amid PFI raids.

The raids have been carried out after the Delhi Police Commissioner’s meeting with DCPs of all the districts, Special CP and Joint CP at the Delhi police headquarter.

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