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Rahul Gandhi’s iftar: Pranab Mukherjee attends, opposition present in strength



Rahul Gandhi's iftar: Pranab Mukherjee attends, opposition present in strength

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Rahul Gandhis first iftar party after becoming Congress president, also the first by a Congress chief since 2015 when Sonia Gandhi hosted it, was a keenly watched event.

There were two main reasons. One was the presence of former President Pranab Mukherjee whose going to RSS function in Nagpur had upset many Congress leaders. The other was the attendance of opposition party leaders in the context of the moves for cobbling up a united anti-BJP front.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee cornered most of the attention, with much speculation about his attendance due to hyper-active imagination by some about his supposed proximity to RSS-BJP after the Nagpur event. The Congress’ official statement said Mukherjee, with his address, reminded the BJP and its ideological mentor about “India’s pluralism, tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness” but a section still questioned Mukherjee’s decision.

However, Mukherjee came, walking in with folded hands, chaperoned by Rahul and they settled on a table, shared by former President Pratibha Patil, Yechury and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi. The easy, friendly chat between Mukherjee and Gandhi could ease the flutter in many Congress hearts, as TOI reported.

A guest gifted a skull cap to the Congress president. Rahul wore it, was photographed and removed it after moments. While iftar, though a Congress institution, presented a contrast with Rahul’s recent temple run, he has always said he visits temples, mosques, gurudwaras and church, wherever he is invited.

The iftar at Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel, organized by the Congress after two years, was attended by CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, DMK’s Kanimozhi, RJD’s Manoj Jha and Sharad Yadav. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sent Dinesh Trivedi as her representative, and Mayawati sent Satish Chandra Mishra. Danish Ali, leader of Karnataka’s Janata Dal Secular, was also present. So were former President Pratibha Patil and former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Hemant Soren, Janata Dal (Secular) leader Danish Ali, All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal and a lawmaker from the Indian Union Muslim League were among the others who attended the iftar along with several top diplomats.

Former JNU student leader and firebrand critic of PM Narendra Modi Shehla Rashid was also spotted.

It also saw large-scale participation by representatives of the Muslim community.

The Samajwadi Party was conspicuous by absence despite an invitation to its chief Akhilesh Yadav and senior party leader Ramgopal Yadav. National Conference too was not seen.

Also conspicuous by its absence was the Aam Aadmi Party, with which the Congress is at loggerheads in Delhi. The big opposition get together is the first since Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy’s oath in Bengaluru earlier this month. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had attended that meeting.

Missing at the iftar was Sonia Gandhi, who is still abroad for medical check-up and is likely to return on Saturday.

Among diplomats, except Pakistan High Commissioner, almost all diplomats of Muslim countries were present. Talking about not inviting any Pakistani diplomat, a Congress leader said a picture of Rahul Gandhi shaking hands with Pak High Commissioner at this moment would not have been politically correct and media would have focused entirely on it.

This was the second such gathering of the Opposition forces after United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s dinner in March this year. According to observers, Gandhi referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new fitness video posted on Twitter and asked if others had seen it. He then quipped: “I found it bizarre. It’s bizarre.”

He then asked Yechury to put out his fitness video to match Modi’s. And Rahul, admittedly way younger than PM Modi, is himself a fitness enthusiast with training in martial arts as well.

With politicians at the iftar party, it was a political get together marked by political talk. Yechury reportedly told BSP’s SC Mishra how the Left parties were protesting against cases of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims. He also told him that the BSP, Samajwadi Party and Congress must have a state-level pact for the 2019 polls. Mishra and Yechury maintained that a pre-poll nationwide alliance was not feasible.

“The larger message is that almost all Opposition parties came for the iftar and interacted with each other. This unity is our message to the Dalits and the minorities,” said a senior Opposition leader who sat at the same table with Gandhi.

A Muslim leader of the Opposition said: “At a time when the BJP has abandoned the culture and practice of iftar in Delhi, this is a good signal to the community.”

Rahul later tweeted, “Good food, friendly faces and great conversation make for a memorable Iftar! We were honoured to have two former Presidents, Pranab Da & Smt Pratibha Patil ji join us, along with leaders from different political parties, the media, diplomats and many old & new friends.”[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYmxvY2txdW90ZSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10d2VldCUyMiUyMGRhdGEtbGFuZyUzRCUyMmVuJTIyJTNFJTNDcCUyMGxhbmclM0QlMjJlbiUyMiUyMGRpciUzRCUyMmx0ciUyMiUzRUdvb2QlMjBmb29kJTJDJTIwZnJpZW5kbHklMjBmYWNlcyUyMGFuZCUyMGdyZWF0JTIwY29udmVyc2F0aW9uJTIwbWFrZSUyMGZvciUyMGElMjBtZW1vcmFibGUlMjBJZnRhciUyMSUyMCUyMFdlJTIwd2VyZSUyMGhvbm91cmVkJTIwdG8lMjBoYXZlJTIwdHdvJTIwZm9ybWVyJTIwUHJlc2lkZW50cyUyQyUyMFByYW5hYiUyMERhJTIwJTI2YW1wJTNCJTIwU210JTIwUHJhdGliaGElMjBQYXRpbCUyMGppJTIwam9pbiUyMHVzJTJDJTIwYWxvbmclMjB3aXRoJTIwbGVhZGVycyUyMGZyb20lMjBkaWZmZXJlbnQlMjBwb2xpdGljYWwlMjBwYXJ0aWVzJTJDJTIwdGhlJTIwbWVkaWElMkMlMjBkaXBsb21hdHMlMjBhbmQlMjBtYW55JTIwb2xkJTIwJTI2YW1wJTNCJTIwbmV3JTIwZnJpZW5kcy4lMjAlM0NhJTIwaHJlZiUzRCUyMmh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGdC5jbyUyRlRNMEFmT1JYUWElMjIlM0VwaWMudHdpdHRlci5jb20lMkZUTTBBZk9SWFFhJTNDJTJGYSUzRSUzQyUyRnAlM0UlMjZtZGFzaCUzQiUyMFJhaHVsJTIwR2FuZGhpJTIwJTI4JTQwUmFodWxHYW5kaGklMjklMjAlM0NhJTIwaHJlZiUzRCUyMmh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGdHdpdHRlci5jb20lMkZSYWh1bEdhbmRoaSUyRnN0YXR1cyUyRjEwMDY5MzE3NDA4NjUxNDY4ODAlM0ZyZWZfc3JjJTNEdHdzcmMlMjU1RXRmdyUyMiUzRUp1bmUlMjAxMyUyQyUyMDIwMTglM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDJTJGYmxvY2txdW90ZSUzRSUwQSUzQ3NjcmlwdCUyMGFzeW5jJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZwbGF0Zm9ybS50d2l0dGVyLmNvbSUyRndpZGdldHMuanMlMjIlMjBjaGFyc2V0JTNEJTIydXRmLTglMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0UlMEE=[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]The BJP took jibes at the Congress for hosting the iftar. “We talk about development and dignity… The Congress’s iftar is for political engineering. No one has ever tried to organise an iftar for social engineering. We have done it, especially when we are talking about Muslim women, triple talaq and other issues related to their empowerment,” minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, comparing his iftar with the one held by the Congress.

Congress leaders said that the success of Gandhi’s iftar should not be measured top leaders staying away, after all the whole Iftar was planned at short notice, less than a week. “Karnataka CM Kumarswamy could not make it, as he is holding one in Bengaluru,” said JD(U) leader Danish Ali, according to a report in DNA.

The iftar almost didn’t happen, according to the DNA report. It was the Congress veterans, who reportedly convinced Gandhi for holding the Iftar Party, said the report.

The event was significant not just because it was projected as an outreach to the Muslim community by the party but also because it was the first such formal opposition meet being hosted by Gandhi.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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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. 



Bihar caste census results: Greater population, greater rights is our pledge, says Rahul Gandhi

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.

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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.



Madhya Pradesh: PM Modi lays foundation stone for projects worth Rs 19,000 crore in Gwalior

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.

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Latest Politics News

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.



Congress left no stone unturned to loot Rajasthan: PM Modi in Chittorgarh rally

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. 

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