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Congress wants Mani back in UDF, CPI says no place in LDF

For the past two days, the CPI-M leadership has started giving clear signals that Mani is no longer the ‘bad boy’ in Kerala politics.

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KM Mani

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19 : The Kerala Congress (Mani) with six legislators, currently sitting as an independent bloc in the Kerala Assembly, is being wooed by the Congress to return to the United Democratic Front (UDF), even as the Communist Party of India (CPI) says there is no place for it in the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF).

On Friday, the Congress party made its overture to him, with former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy saying they would be glad if Mani returns to the UDF.

“Even though no talks in this respect have commenced, there is a strong feeling in the UDF that Mani should return to the UDF. This is our wish and Mani now has to take the call,” said Chandy.

In August 2016, the KC (M) led by veteran legislator K.M. Mani decided to leave the UDF, which they were part of for close to over three decades. Mani had said he was leaving because a section in the Congress party was responsible for the rout of the UDF in the May 2016 assembly polls.

Mani was under a cloud over the infamous bar scam case when a bar owner had alleged that he had paid Mani Rs one crore to reopen closed down bars in 2014. Following a huge onslaught by the then Left opposition, after an adverse remark from the Kerala High Court, Mani stepped down in November 2015.

Ever since Mani left the UDF, the CPI-M has been eyeing his party. Now, the bar scam case appears to have settled down, with the Vigilance probing the case on Wednesday submitting a preliminary report saying that there was no evidence to implicate Mani.

For the past two days, the CPI-M leadership has started giving clear signals that Mani is no longer the ‘bad boy’ in Kerala politics.

While the CPI-M overtly and otherwise has expressed that Mani should join the LDF, the CPI has always been against this. On Friday, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said that while there is no bar on former Left allies (Janata Dal-U) to return, there is “no space for new allies“.

“The Reserve Bank of India has 66 note counting machines and Mani also has one such machine. (At the height of the bar scam, there were widespread reports that Mani was using a counting machine to count all the currency notes that he got as bribe). Also the LDF is not a ventilator to parties, that are on the death bed. Already we have a very good majority and we are not looking for new allies,” said Rajendran.

Mani has six legislators and his son Jose K. Mani is the Lok Sabha member from Kottayam. Mani has denied that the UDF has offered him the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, if he fears that his son might not win from Kottayam for the third time.

“Who is saying all this and why should we ask for the Wayanad seat, when Kottayam is safe with us? I don’t have anything to say on this,” said Mani.

Already the Janata Dal-U led by media baron M.P. Veerendra Kumar left the UDF last week and they have been given the nod by the CPI-M to return to the LDF.

Mani holds prominence in constituencies like Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Kozhikode and Wayanad, which are presently held by the Congress.

“Mani as soon as he gets cleared in the bar scam case, will join the LDF,” said a top leader in the know of things to IANS, but did not wish to be identified.

Election

How can anyone stop a wife from taking her husband’s name, asks Shivakumar

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DK Shivakumar

Bengaluru, Oct 23 : Taking serious exceptions to BJP leaders launching a campaign against Congress candidate from R.R. Nagara, H. Kusuma, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President D.K. Shivakumar on Friday appealed to the voters to ponder over why Kusuma was not allowed to take her legally wedded late husband’s name.

Speaking at the Vokkaliga leaders’ convention here, Shivakumar said that the BJP fielded Shobha Karandlaje to raise this question on social media platforms that Kusuma should not use her husband’s name in election campaigns.

“Why is she being stopped from using her legitimately wedded husband’s name? Let us dwell into it now. We all know who all protested and demanded a CBI inquiry into his death. They (BJP) indulged in politics, not Kusuma, I would like to remind them,” he said.

Training his guns directly on Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha MP Shobha Karandlaje, Shivakumar said, “I did not expect this from you ‘akka’ (elder sister). God forbid, nothing like this happens to you or anyone in your family. It is a great trauma for a 25-year old woman to become a widow at that age.”

Continuing his attack further, the KPCC President asserted that Kusuma had married D.K. Ravi legally as per the Hindu rituals. “Therefore, people must condemn such illegitimate demand being made by her rivals,” he said.

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Remembering former Congress President Sitaram Kesri on his death anniversary

Sitaram Kesri passed away on October 24, 2000.

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Sitaram Kesri

Sitaram Kesri was an old Congress hand who rose in the ranks of the party. From being the Bihar Congress Committee president to All India Congress Committee (AICC) treasurer and finally the party’s top job, Kesri did it well.

However, Sitaram Kesri is known not for being the Congress president but how shabbily he was stripped off his post to place Sonia Gandhi as the party chief. Gandhi topi firmly on head and comfortable with palace intrigues, Kesri was a Congressman who rose through the ranks in the post-Nehru era. Sadly, his defining legacy as Congress president was when he pulled the plug on the Deve Gowda government in March 1997 in the hope that this was his best chance to bag the country’s top job.

This is how Sonia Gandhi took off Sitaram Kesri’s post as Congress President:

Out of nowhere, in 1997, Sonia Gandhi announced that she would campaign for the Congress party in the Lok Sabha election due for March 1998. Sitaram Kesri was the Congress president at the time. Sonia Gandhi joined the party in December 1997 at its plenary session in then Calcutta. She addressed her first election rally in Tamil Nadu, the state where Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.

In January, Sitaram Kesri welcomed the decision by Sonia Gandhi to join the Congress and campaign for the party in an interview, according to India Today. Demands were being made in the Congress party asking Sitaram Kesri to hand over the reins of the party to Sonia Gandhi.

But Sitaram Kesri, then 82, wanted to hold on for some time as he had some support in the party. However, the majority wanted Sonia Gandhi as the new president of the party. The Congress Working Committee passed a resolution on March 14, 1998, asking Sitaram Kesri to step down as party president.

Sitaram Kesri was reportedly locked in a room in the Congress headquarters on the Akbar Road in New Delhi to prevent him from creating obstacles in Sonia Gandhi entering the office of the Congress president.

The Congress leader passed away on October 24, 2000.

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Election

Bihar Assembly Election 2020 Updates: Rahul Gandhi’s attacks NDA in Bihar

Bihar Assembly Election 2020 LIVE Updates: Voting for 243 assembly seats in Bihar will be held on October 28, November 3 and November 7.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Bihar Assembly Election 2020 LIVE Updates: Bihar is gearing up for assembly elections 2020. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced a three-phase election in Bihar in October-November. Voting for 243 assembly seats in the state will be held on October 28, November 3 and November 7. A total of 1,066 candidates are in the fray for the 71 seats going to the polls in the first phase and 1, 464 for 94 seats in the second phase after the withdrawal of nomination papers. A total of 1,411 nominations have been filed for 78 assembly seats in Bihar which will go to polls in the third and last phase on November 7. Ahead of the elections, the Centre has permitted with certain conditions political gatherings in poll-bound Bihar and also in those constituencies where bypolls are to be held with the maximum number of people in a close space or a hall capped at 200 while in an open space, it will depend on the area.

Catch all the latest updates on Bihar Assembly Election 2020 here:

HIGHLIGHTS

PM Narendra Modi had said that India will be free of Corona within 22 days. I had been saying since February that the poor, labourers and farmers of India will suffer massive losses due to Corona but I was ridiculed: Rahul Gandhi in Bhagalpur #BiharElections (ANI)

Labourers of Bihar left for their native state & walked thousands of kilometres without food & water. Did PM help you? Did he say that he didn’t think & ended up making a mistake? Did he offer buses, trucks, trains to go back home? No: Rahul Gandhi, in Bhagalpur BiharElections.

BJP promising 19 lakh jobs in Bihar akin to its pledge of depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts of people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CM Nitish Kumar broke backbone of farmers, medium and small businesses: Narendra Modi calls himself nationalist but weakened country in 6 years; economy is suppressed, farmers oppressed: Rahul Gandhi in Bihar (PTI)

“They have seized 1,200 km of our land. But when the Chinese army intruded, why did our prime minister insult our soldiers by saying that nobody entered into the Indian side.The question is, Modi ji, when will you throw out the Chinese soldiers sitting in our territory,” Rahul Gandhi in Bihar

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