'Can't see heavens falling' for need of elected Congress president: Salman Khurshid | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs ‘Can’t see heavens falling’ for need of elected Congress president: Salman Khurshid – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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‘Can’t see heavens falling’ for need of elected Congress president: Salman Khurshid

Khurshid said the leaders who have written to Sonia Gandhi always had access to her and could have approached her rather than writing to her.

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Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: Asserting that there was no urgency to have an elected Congress president, senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday said he “can’t see the heavens falling” for the need of a party chief as Sonia Gandhi was still at the helm and should be the one to decide on the leadership issue.

Khurshid, a former Union minister and among the leaders considered close to the Gandhi family, told in an interview that he would not have signed the letter even if he was approached by the group that wrote to Gandhi seeking urgent organisational overhaul, including an active and full-time leadership.

On Ghulam Nabi Azad, the most vocal among the 23 letter writers, seeking organisational elections to ensure that the Congress does not remain out of power for decades, Khurshid said the senior leader from Jammu and Kashmir had been part of the top echelons of the party for years when there has been no such elections and still the party prospered.

He said probably Azad wanted a change now in what the party has been doing over the years and expressed confidence that the leadership will give a thought to what he is saying as he is a senior leader

Khurshid said the leaders who have written to Sonia Gandhi always had access to her and could have approached her rather than writing to her.

“It is very clear that the important persons in this letter do belong to the top echelons of our party and therefore Mrs Gandhi has indicated that it was best that they could have discussed it within the confines of the party,” he said.

Khurshid’s remarks assume significance as they come days after the ‘group of 23’ wrote to Gandhi calling for far-reaching reforms within the party such as having a “full time, active and visible” leadership, devolution of powers to state units and revamping the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in line with the party constitution.

Asked about the suggestions made in the letter, Khurshid said the discussion seems to be about electing a leader and the Congress president has indicated that it can be done at an appropriate time when physically it is possible.

“For people like me, we already have leaders, we have a leader in Mrs Sonia Gandhi, we have a leader in Rahul Gandhi. So for me there is no sense of urgency about electing leaders. Electing a president, yes that will happen when it happens, I can’t see the heavens falling down. What is the sense of urgency that is being expressed, is not clear to me,” he said.

“We don’t have a part-time president, we have a full-time president but the full-time president is an interim president and no ordinary person as an interim president as she is the longest serving president. We must just trust and leave it to the longest serving president to take steps when she thinks it is appropriate,” the Congress leader said.

On whether it would have been better to go to the president for articulating concerns than writing a letter, Khurshid said the leaders had done that for the last 20 years and he did not know what was different now or had changed that they felt the need to write a letter.

Asked about the future of the party with knives out within the organisation at a time it needs to be revitalised, he said, “The pens are out, so what is the problem.Of course the words written with pens can hurt and they did, but they don’t draw blood…it’s only ink, it’s something we can live with and I am sure that the ink will fade in due course.”

Khurshid said no one had approached him for signing the letter and even if anyone had done so, he would not have signed because he does not agree with the letter.

“There is nothing about that letter that gives an opportunity for me to express and say that I may want to say…We have always spoken directly with the leadership, so I don’t know what changed because of which people are not speaking directly. Nothing has changed for me and therefore, I don’t see the urge for writing the letter,” he said.

Khurshid said he still feels that instead of leaders continuously urging Rahul Gandhi to come back as party chief, they must leave the decision to him.

“Surely he understands the implications of that letter more than I do, he will do what he thinks is the best to do,” he said, when asked if it was now imperative for Rahul Gandhi to return as party chief to set the house in order.

After the seven-hour meeting of the party’s top decision-making body last week, the CWC urged Sonia Gandhi to continue as its interim chief till an AICC session could be convened and authorised her to effect necessary organisational changes to deal with the challenges facing the party.

It made it clear no one would be permitted to undermine or weaken the party and its leadership.

The CWC also resolved that inner-party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or in public fora and all such issues must be raised within the party “in the interest of propriety and discipline”.

India

Harsh Vardhan’s comments unfortunate, aim should be to fight the pandemic unitedly: Rahul Gandhi

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Wayanad (Ker): Describing as “unfortunate” the comments by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it was not appropriate to blame others and point fingers, but fightthe pandemic unitedly.

With Kerala witnessing a spurt in infections recently, Vardhan had recently said the state was “paying the price for gross negligence” during Onam festivities when unlocking of services along with an increase in travel for trade and tourism led to the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

The spirit should be to overcome this huge challenge.

I had warned in February that India was facing a huge challenge.However, this is not the time to point fingers and we all should work together,” Gandhi said.

He said Kerala follows a decentralised response to the pandemic and the state was giving out a good, decent result.

“The spirit of the people of Kerala, including the health workers, is giving a good decent result here.Of course there are shortcomings like there are in every situation.

But overall I feel the spirit of the people is going to overcome this disease here.The mitigation work in Wayanad is also good,” the Congress MP said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has, however, said Vardhan’s comments should not be seen as a criticism of the state government’s COVID-19 management.

The chief minister had said on Monday that the COVID-19 situation in the state was under control during and after the Onam festival season as a strict vigil was enforced.

“Our COVID preventive measures were a success but the massive protests across the state by an irresponsible opposition derailed the efforts of the government,” Vijayan said.

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Business

India’s April-August FDI inflow rises 13%

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

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FDI

New Delhi, Oct 21 : FDI inflows into India have increased by 13 per cent during April to August 2020 on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, $35.73 billion has been received during the period under review.

“It is the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 13 per cent higher as compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($31.60 billion),” the ministry said in a statement.

“FDI equity inflow received during F.Y. 2020-21 (April to August, 2020) is $27.10 billion. It is also the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 16 per cent more compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($23.35 billion).”

Besides, the ministry’s data showed that FDI inflows have risen by 55 per cent during the last 6 years.

“Total FDI inflow grew by 55 per cent, i.e. from $231.37 billion in 2008-14 to $358.29 billion in 2014-20,” the statement said.

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

The ministry said that measures taken regarding FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased inflows into the country.

“Continuing on the path of FDI liberalisation and simplification, Government has carried out FDI reforms across various sectors,” the statement said.

FDI is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India, it added.

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India

NHPC Board approves merger of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power with it

Shares of NHPC on Tuesday closed at Rs 20.25 on the BSE, higher by 1.25 per cent from its previous close.

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Reliance Power

New Delhi : The Board of Directors of state-run hydro power major NHPC on Tuesday approved the proposal to merge Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd with it.

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NHPC. The state-run major had won the bid to take over the 500 MW Teesta VI hydro power project under the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power was executing the 500 MW (125 MWx4) Teesta VI hydro project on the Teesta river in Sikkim.

“The Board of Directors of NHPC Limited in its meeting held today i.e. Tuesday, October 20, 2020, has approved the proposal to initiate the process of merger/amalgamation of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of NHPC Limited) with NHPC Ltd under Section 232 of the Companies Act, 2013 subject to approval of Government of India,” NHPC said in a regulatory filing.

Shares of NHPC on Tuesday closed at Rs 20.25 on the BSE, higher by 1.25 per cent from its previous close.

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