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Now, Rajasthan BJP sends 18-20 MLAs to Gujarat

The BJP leader said they would be back by August 12, though the final date needs to be decided. They will offer prayers at the Somnath temple on Monday, he added.

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Satish Poonia

Jaipur, Aug 8 : It is not only the Congress that fears poaching of its MLAs by the BJP in Rajasthan, but also the latter which wishes to keep its flock intact. Close on the heels of the Congress sending its MLAs to plush hotels, the desert state’s opposition party is busy packing off 18-20 MLAs to BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Around a dozen MLAs from Jalore, Sirohi and Udaipur divisions were shifted on Friday night to a resort in Ahmedabad whereas another group of six MLAs were at the Jaipur airport at the time of filing of this report. They were about to leave for Porbandar by a chartered flight.

Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia dubbed the sojourn of the party MLAs as an “excursion trip”, while admitting that they were being lured by the Congress and senior officials of the state. Hence, they are being sent on a tour, he added.

Speaking to IANS, Poonia said that the ruling Congress is “misusing” government machinery in Rajasthan for “selfish ends”.

“Many officials have visited our MLAs in the tribal belt and tried to influence them through immoral ways. Our MLAs were depressed and tense and hence we planned an excursion trip for them.”

The BJP leader said they would be back by August 12, though the final date needs to be decided. They will offer prayers at the Somnath temple on Monday, he added.

However, Poonia refused to use the word ‘camping’ for the BJP MLAs and said that this word has been coined by the Congress and its MLAs in Jaisalmer are literally being monitored by security teams.

Meanwhile, former PCC Vice-President Archana Sharma told IANS that “they (BJP) are blaming the Congress, but there is a dispute within the party. Hence, they are taking their MLAs to Gujarat.”

A senior politician, who wanted anonymity, said that the state BJP is feeling threatened after former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s meeting with the party leadership in Delhi and her readiness to regain her foothold in Rajasthan politics.

Election

Ex-Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey takes political plunge, joins JD(U)

Speculation is rife that he may be offered ticket to contest the assembly election from a seat in his native Buxar district.

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Gupteshwar Pandey IPS

Former Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey, who took voluntary retirement from service a few days ago, joined the state’s ruling JD(U) on Sunday.

Pandey, an outspoken police officer, joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD(U) president.

The 1987 batch IPS officer had strongly defended Kumar on the issue of institution of a CBI probe into the mysterious death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Ever since he took VRS weeks before the October- November assembly elections, there was speculation that he could take the political plunge.

“Nitish Kumar ji personally called me and offered party membership with great love. I accepted it,” Pandey said.

“I don’t know anything about politics. I will do what I am asked to do,” he told reporters.

Speculation is rife that he may be offered ticket to contest the assembly election from a seat in his native Buxar district.

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India

With tweet on Covid-19 vaccine, Rahul Gandhi takes a jibe at PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’

Gandhi had earlier attacked the Centre over Covid-19 vaccine, saying a strategy should have been in place by now and said the government’s alleged “unpreparedness” is “alarming”.

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Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday questioned the government on its strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in India. On Twitter, he also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is going to hold his Mann ki Baat today.

“It’s a justified question, but how long will India wait for the government’s answer? Hope Covid access strategy would have been the ‘Mann ki Baat’,” Gandhi tweeted. He also attached a screenshot of a news article on development of Covid-19 vaccine.

PM Modi will address the nation through the 69th edition of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme. The outreach talk focuses on a range of subjects.

The Mann Ki Baat’s latest episode comes a day after the Prime Minister’s pre-recorded video address to the UN General Assembly where he expressed his concerns about the pace of reform of the United Nations its response to challenges such as terrorism and the Covid-19 pandemic.

PM Modi assured the international community that India’s coronavirus vaccine production and delivery capacity will help all humanity in fighting the pandemic.

“As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. In India and in our neighbourhood, we are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials in India. India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of the vaccines,” he said.

PM Modi said even during these very difficult times of the raging pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry of India has sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries.

Gandhi had earlier attacked the Centre over Covid-19 vaccine, saying a strategy should have been in place by now and said the government’s alleged “unpreparedness” is “alarming”.

He had demanded that the government clearly define an inclusive and equitable vaccine access policy to ensure its affordability and fair distribution.

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Election

Bihar: Congress gears for ‘Mahila Kranti Sammelan’ to be addressed by Priyanka Gandhi

As preparations are underway for the women’s conference, Congress is booking cinema halls and auditoriums in all the districts of Bihar so that women can see and hear Priyanka Gandhi on a big screen

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

New Delhi [India], September 27 : As women have been hailed as the ‘silent force’ behind Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s electoral victories in Bihar, the Congress party has decided to woo them by launching ‘Mahila Kranti Sammelan’ ahead of the State Assembly polls.

According to sources, the party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will address this conference through virtual mode, which is likely to be held in the second week of October.

“We are preparing to hold a huge women’s conference. For this, we have sought time from Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi,” a top Congress said.

As preparations are underway for the women’s conference, Congress is booking cinema halls and auditoriums in all the districts of Bihar so that women can see and hear Priyanka Gandhi on a big screen.

The party has decided to install screens in rural areas as well. Apart from this, a large number of women will also be connected through mobile phones and social media. The aim of the party is that about 50,000 women from all over Bihar directly participate in the conference and in addition, about 5,00,000 people join the sammelan through social media, the source added.

Earlier, virtual conferences held in North Bihar were more successful than expected. Now, with the elections coming closer, the party is planning to arrange everything in a larger manner with campaigning by the top leadership of the party. For this, a platform will be set up in the national capital, from where big leaders will send a message to the people of Bihar.

It is to note that in Bihar, Congress is contesting on the faces of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. In such a situation, the party is dependent on them to woo the larger audience in Bihar. Along with Priyanka Gandhi’s women’s conference, virtual rallies of Rahul Gandhi are also being planned ahead of the Assembly polls in Bihar. In the first week of August, Rahul Gandhi had addressed the party workers of Bihar through video conferencing.

In Bihar, the main challenge before Congress is to get more seats in an alliance with the RJD.

Bihar has elections scheduled in three phases from October 28 to November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

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