Congress "Dissenters" Not On UP Poll Teams, Salman Khurshid Gets Key Job | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Congress “Dissenters” Not On UP Poll Teams, Salman Khurshid Gets Key Job – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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Congress “Dissenters” Not On UP Poll Teams, Salman Khurshid Gets Key Job

Congress leaders such as Jitin Prasad and Raj Babbar, who were signatories to a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi for a re-haul of the organisation, have failed to find a place in the new committees.

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Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid will head a team that will draw up the Congress manifesto ahead of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh — due two years later. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, put in charge of the party in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has already started setting up teams, sources in the party said.

Congress leaders such as Jitin Prasad and Raj Babbar, who were signatories to a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi for a re-haul of the organisation, have failed to find a place in the new committees. Those who denounced the letter writers in the “Group of 23” like Nirmal Khatri and Naseeb Pathan have found places in the panels announced on Sunday evening.

Last year, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Ms Gandhi Vadra was given charge of delivering Uttar Pradesh to the Congress in the next state elections. Her brother Rahul Gandhi, who was the chief of the party at the time, had also given charge of western Uttar Pradesh to his closest aide, Jyyotiraditya Scindia, who has since joined the BJP.

Ms Gandhi Vadra has her task cut out. The excitement over her appointment had not translated to votes in the Lok Sabha election. The Congress has logged its worst performance ever in the state, where its space had shrunk to two seats. Though Sonia Gandhi retained Rae Bareli, Rahul Gandhi had lost the family turf Amethi to the BJP’s Smriti Irani.

It has now fallen on Mr Khurshid — a Gandhi family loyalist — to help improve the party’s fortunes in the state in framing a vision for the future .The former minister, who was born in Aligarh, represented Farrukhabad in central Uttar Pradesh in parliament.

A Gandhi family loyalist, Mr Khurshid has been upset after the recent dissent by a ginger group of 23 leaders that had stirred up the Congress. Days later, he firmly backed the Gandhis, saying it was time for a consensus, not elections.

“I have said very clearly that the Gandhis are leaders of the Congress. Nobody can deny this. Even the opposition cannot deny this… I don’t worry about whether or not we have a president. We have a leader (in Rahul Gandhi) and that is comforting for me,” the former Union minister had told PTI in an interview.

Among those in the new teams for Uttar Pradesh are, former state unit chief Nirmal Khatri in the Training and Cadre Development Committee, while Naseeb Pathan is part of the Programme Implementation Committee. Both had denounced the letter-writers and demanded action against them.

While Salman Khurshid, PL Punia, Aradhana Misra, Supriya Shrinate, Vivek Bansal and Amitabh Dubey are in the Manifesto Committee, those in the Outreach Committee include Pramod Tiwari, Pradip Jain, Gajraj Singh, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Imran Masood and Bal Kumar Patel.

After the Congress letter — where senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor and Anand Sharma had pushed for change in leadership — all of them got left out from a list of big promotions handed out by the party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi.

Gaurav Gogoi and Ravneet Singh Bittu were appointed deputy leader and whip in the Lok Sabha. Senior leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh, who was not among the dissenters either, was appointed Chief Whip of the Congress.

Election

Congress MLA in MP resigns from Assembly, joins BJP

The Madhya Pradesh by-elections in 28 Assembly segments are slated for November 3.

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Kamal Nath

Bhopal, Oct 25 : With just a few days left for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly bypolls, Congress MLA Rahul Lodhi from Damoh on Sunday resigned from his Assembly membership and joined the BJP.

After submitting his resignation to Pro Tem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma, Lodhi reached BJP’s state office and was inducted as its member in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, party state President Vishnu Dutt Sharma and Urban Administration Minister Bhupendra Singh.

However, the Pro Tem Speaker told the media that Lodhi had sought to resign two days ago but was asked to reconsider his decision. On Saturday, he reiterated his desire to resign and finally quit on Sunday.

Earlier this year, 22 Congress MLAs had resigned from their Assembly membership and joined the BJP under the leadership of Jyotiraditya Scindia, which led to the collapse of the then Kamal Nath-led Congress government.

Three more Congress MLAs later resigned from the Assembly. Now, the latest blow to the Congress has come with the resignation of Rahul Lodhi.

The Madhya Pradesh by-elections in 28 Assembly segments are slated for November 3.

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Politics

Caught on camera: UP BJP chief showers flower petals on MLA Surendra Singh days after serving him notice

The video which went viral on Saturday shows Swatantra Dev Singh participating in a ‘bhumi pujan’ programme of a Krishna temple at Kathauda village in Sikanderpur area

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MLA Surendra Singh

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh has been caught on camera showering flower petals on the party’s Bairia MLA Surendra Singh, days after serving him a notice for his statements supporting the main accused in the firing incident at Durjanpur village in Ballia.

The video which went viral on Saturday shows Swatantra Dev Singh participating in a ‘bhumi pujan’ programme of a Krishna temple at Kathauda village in Sikanderpur area. Both the leaders are seen sitting side by side in the footage.

The state BJP chief is seen showering flower petals on Surendra Singh, who acknowledges it with folded hands.

On being asked about the video, BJP’s Salempur MP Ravindra Kushwaha, who was also present at the event on Friday, told reporters that only Swatantra Dev Singh can elaborate on his actions.

Earlier this week, the state unit of the BJP had issued a show cause notice to MLA Surendra Singh for issuing statements in support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh, a local party leader who has been arrested for allegedly killing a man. The legislator was given a week’s time to respond to the notice.

Surendra Singh had come out in open support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh, who allegedly shot dead a 46-year-old man in Ballia’s Durjanpur village following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops on October 15.

The Bairia MLA had defended the accused, saying that the latter opened fire in self-defence as it was a do-or-die situation for him .

He had also accused the administration of bias and demanded that action be taken against the other side.

Meanwhile, Swatantra Dev had said that BJP national president J P Nadda had sought information about the matter.

Despite being served a notice, the Bairia MLA continued to extend his support to Dhirendra Singh, who is said to be the district unit president of the BJP ex-servicemen cell.

The MLA had also recently claimed that he met senior BJP leaders in the past few days and that everyone backed him.

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India

Farooq Abdullah to lead Gupkar alliance, asserts it’s not anti-national; Mehbooba to be vice-chairperson

After a meeting at Mehbooba’s house, Abdullah said the alliance is fighting for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and is an “anti-BJP platform” and not an anti-national amalgam

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Omar Mehbooba Mufti Fraooq

Seven mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday gave a formal shape to their recently cobbled alliance for the restoration of Article 370, electing National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah as its chairman and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti as vice-chairperson, and asserted that theirs was “not an anti-national” grouping.

Veteran CPM leader M Y Tarigami was elected as the convenor while Lok Sabha member from South Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi would be the coordinator of the conglomerate known as Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

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Sajjad Gani Lone of People’s Conference would be the spokesman for the amalgam.

After a meeting held at Mehbooba’s house, Abdullah, who turned 84 earlier this week, said the alliance is fighting for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and is an “anti-BJP platform” and not an anti-national amalgam.

“I want to tell you that this is false propaganda by the BJP that the PAGD is anti-national. I want to tell them that this is not true. There is no doubt that it is anti-BJP, but it is not anti-national,” he told reporters here.

Abdullah alleged that the BJP has tried to break the federal structure through acts like the abrogation of Article 370 and dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

“They have tried to destroy the Constitution of the country, they have tried to divide the nation, to break the federal structure which we saw what they did on August 5 last year,” the NC president said.

“I want to tell them that this (PAGD) is not an anti-national jamaat. Our aim is that the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh should get their rights back. That’s where our battle is. Our battle is not for more than that,” he said.

Abdullah said the BJP was doing propaganda against the constituents of the PAGD in Jammu and elsewhere in the country.

“They are trying to divide us (people of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh) in the name of religion. This attempt will not succeed. This is not a religious battle, this is a fight for our identity, and for that identity, we are standing together,” he said.

The amalgam, which met for the first time after its formation, will come out with a white paper within one month on governance in Jammu and Kashmir over the past one year since the abrogation of article 370, Lone told reporters after the meeting.

“The white paper will not be rhetoric. It will be based on facts and figures to present the reality to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and around the country…. An impression is being given that all the corruption had happened in Jammu and Kashmir,” Lone said.

The amalgam decided to hold its next meeting after a fortnight in Jammu, followed by a convention in Srinagar on November 17.

As a mark of defiance to the constitutional changes made by the Centre with respect to Jammu and Kashmir last year, the alliance adopted the flag of the erstwhile state as its symbol.

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