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Congress to launch drive to get 5 crore members

The party leaders have been asked to undertake door-to-door campaign for membership in all states, except Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand which go to polls in the next few months.



New Delhi, Sep 18 : With a target of enrolling 5 crore members, the Congress is set to launch a nationwide drive from next month, an exercise which will be carried out digitally to check bogus membership that has been a major concern for the party.

In a circular issued by Congress General Secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal, the party leaders have been asked to undertake door-to-door campaign for membership in all states, except Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand which go to polls in the next few months.

The grand old party, which has been severely hit by electoral debacles, is looking for revival to take on the resurgent BJP. In this direction, the party’s reins were handed over to Sonia Gandhi once again over a month back, after her son Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post of Congress President in the wake of debacle in the last Lok Sabha polls.

With the BJP surging ahead in terms of electoral successes and organizational activities, the Congress has set a target of enrolling 5 crore members, which is still much less than that of BJP’s 18 crore figure.

“It has been decided that the membership drive will be through digital and traditional paper mode, both. All the frontal organisations and departments shall participate in this drive in their respective booth areas,” said the note accessed by IANS.

Emphasis on digital mode of membership is significant since the party has suffered due to bogus membership.

The party has asked its office bearers to ensure that bio data of new members are uploaded in the digital format with a photograph and Voter ID Card.

The online membership form is available on the official website of the Congress party. In the form, it has been mentioned that the new member should upload their EPIC (Election I-Card) as an identity proof. After giving certain details, they would be getting the communication via mail or SMS from the party.

According to the earlier practice, a member would be required to fill a form without providing any proof. With the digital format, a potential member will have to satisfy the party about his or her credentials and belief in the party ideology.

At a recent meeting held by Congress General Secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi, former Union Minister Ram Lal Rahi raised the issue of bogus membership and said the membership drive should be genuine and not only on papers.

Another party leader said the party should communicate what it stands for, just like the RSS and the BJP are propagating their ideology. Mere paper work has already damaged the party, he said.

After successful electoral gains, the BJP has got 7 crore new members, raising the total number of its members to a whopping 18 crore. The BJP’s target was to increase its members by 20 per cent but it surpassed that and touched 50 per cent.


PM Modi should take lead in resolving impasse with farmers: Ashok Gehlot

The meeting remained inconclusive and the government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3, union leaders said.



Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Dec 1 : Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take the lead in resolving the impasse with farmers.

He said the Centre”s invitation to farmer unions for talks is a step in the right direction, but taken too late.

“There is growing concern not only in the country but in other countries as well, where a sizable number of Persons of Indian Origin live, regarding protest of farmers in India. PM Modi ji must take the lead to resolve this impasse. Farmers” genuine demands must be met,” Gehlot tweeted.

The Centre on Tuesday offered to set up a committee to look into issues raised by farmers protesting against new farm laws, but it was rejected by representatives of 35 agitating organisations during their marathon meeting with three union ministers that ended without any resolution.

The meeting remained inconclusive and the government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3, union leaders said.

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Punjab CM slams AAP govt for implementing farm laws




Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, Dec 1: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over their shocking double standards on the farmers’ protests, saying the party had exposed itself by implementing the draconian farm laws in the midst of the crisis while pretending to be standing with the farmers.

Even as AAP was claiming to be supporting the agitating farmers, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi had brazenly executed the black laws through a gazette notification on November 23, the Chief Minister pointed out, adding the party was clearly indulging in political games to further its electoral agenda.

Quite clearly, AAP had been working behind the farmers’ backs all these days, said the Chief Minister, expressing shock at the fact that even before the farmers had embarked on their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, the Kejriwal government had actually issued the notification which would spell the death-knell for the ‘annadattas’ in the national capital.

“Do they have no shame?” asked Amarinder Singh, slamming AAP for misleading the Kisan Unions by pretending to be supporting their cause while all this time, Kejriwal’s party was merely indulging in political theatrics.

“First they failed to pass any amendment laws in the Delhi Assembly to negate the central laws, as was done in Punjab. And now they have gone so far as to officially notify the agricultural legislations in Delhi, where AAP is in power. The party’s true intent and affiliation has been utterly exposed,” Amarinder Singh noted.

Responding to AAP’s criticism of his handling of the situation and for taking on Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the Chief Minister remarked that while he was busy fighting for the rights of his farmers, Kejriwal was preparing to pull the rug from under the feet of the farmers, who had been braving all kinds of atrocities by the Haryana government in their quest for justice.

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Nitish Kumar likely to expand cabinet in December




Nitish Kumar Sad

Patna, Dec 1 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to expand his cabinet in December as the winter session of the assembly concluded in November after the formation of the new state government.

During this time the opposition parties, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress hurled political barbs at the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

There is wide speculation across the political spectrum especially with the opposition RJD claiming that not a single Muslim would be given a cabinet berth in the Nitish government.

Not a single Muslim candidate from the ruling NDA has reached the Bihar assembly so it is certain that if the Bihar CM wants to have a Muslim face in the cabinet, he would likely be a Legislative Council member.

During the recent Bihar elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not field a single Muslim candidate while the JD-U fielded 11.

As per the constitutional provisions, overall 36 ministers can be appointed in the state cabinet which at present has 13 ministers, including the Chief Minister. There are only four JD-U ministers besides Nitish Kumar. Twenty two more ministers are yet to be appointed.

Mevalal Chaudhary was also included as cabinet minister in the Nitish Kumar-led government but later resigned for alleged involvement in corruption. At present, all cabinet ministers have been assigned five departments each. Due to this Nitish Kumar may soon expand his cabinet regarding which he held a meeting with senior JD-U leaders on November 29.

Sources say that Nitish’s cabinet is likely to be expanded soon. If sources are to be believed, a meeting of the NDA would soon be held where Nitish would discuss the prospective names of MLAs to be inducted as ministers into the cabinet.

In this cabinet expansion, at least 10 new faces from the BJP could get an opportunity which may include MLAs who are young and belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and the Dalit community.

The JD-U could also give an opportunity to new faces from the party in the cabinet expansion and may also include a Muslim minister.

After the Bihar election results, the JD-U is playing the role of the ‘younger brother’ in the NDA government since it had won less assembly seats than the BJP. The JD-U has already started planning its future political course of action.

A JD-U leader believes that as expected the party did not get the support of the Muslim voters in Bihar, whose brunt the party had to bear in the recent elections.

Nitish Kumar could try to send a message to the Muslim voters by giving a ministerial berth to a Muslim from the party.

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