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Party won’t become ‘headless’ at stroke of midnight: Congress

“There were some internal discussions in the party about Sonia Gandhi’s extension but no decision has been taken yet,” a source said.

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Abhishek Manu Singhvi

New Delhi, Aug 9 : With Sonia Gandhi set to complete a year as interim President on August 10, the Congress on Sunday maintained that the party will not suddenly become “headless” at the “stroke of midnight” and she will continue to head it for now.

Senior party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that “no party will allow any vacuum and there is no vacuum at all… Sonia Gandhi is President and will continue to be such time till proper procedure is implemented”.

“It is true that the term is expiring but the party is not going to be headless at the stroke of midnight,” he said, adding that there is a laid-down procedure and the party will decide on the matter.

Earlier, sources had said that Sonia Gandhi is likely continue as the interim President, but this might need ratification from the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

“There were some internal discussions in the party about Sonia Gandhi’s extension but no decision has been taken yet,” a source said.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, however, said: “When the party decides to convene the Congress Working Committee meet, it will be shared.”

Sonia Gandhi was appointed interim President in August 2019 after all efforts to cajole Rahul Gandhi, who resigned from the post after the party’s rout in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, to stay as party chief failed.

There has been a demand in the party to appoint a full-time President and various party leaders, including MPs from both houses,have sought that Rahul Gandhi be brought back as President.

In a meeting of party Rajya Sabha members on July 30, prominent leaders like Digvijaya Singh, P.L. Punia, and Rajeev Satav sought Rahul Gandhi be brought back to deal with the crises facing the party.

The demand was echoed at a meeting this month of Lok Sabha members, where Rahul Gandhi was also present.

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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