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Rajasthan Congress: Suspense, surprise, contradicting strategies

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, July 28 : The story of Rajasthan Congress after being split and divided in two groups led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and ex-Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, seems to be getting all the more complicated with elements of suspense, surprise and contradicting strategies.

While the AICC leaders are seen adopting a stoic silence on Pilot, the Rajasthan CM has been going all vocal against him while making scathing attacks on Pilot.

On Monday, Rajasthan Congress in charge Avinash Pandey called a press conference where he openly announced that 19 rebel Congress MLAs including Pilot can return to their ‘family’ after apologising to the party high command.

However, Gehlot a few days back called Pilot as “Nikamma” and “Nakara”.

Now, the party workers are confused as to who is moving in the right direction: the AICC or Rajasthan Congress leadership under Gehlot.

In fact, Gehlot also seems to have changed his strategy and is going quite verbal against the Governor while preferring to remain silent on Pilot.

There are hush-hush whispers in the Congress corridors that the CM also seems to have changed his strategy following his AICC team members and hence is not bringing Pilot in any picture of protest being staged in the state unlike a few days back where the former Deputy CM was on his constant radar.

This switch of strategy has left the party leaders confused, baffled and all the more divided on their stands.

Their general query is why Gehlot was spewing venom against Sachin Pilot but no one else was doing the same from the AICC and why now he has gone silent.

“We are clueless on the party’s stand as on one hand, they give them disqualification notice, while the other hand, AICC members give a call to 19 members asking them to make a comeback to their family. This seems to be a very confusing situation,” said a former PCC worker who once worked as a spokesperson before the PCC was dissolved after the ouster of Pilot as PCC chief.

Another party leader questioned the silence of AICC party leaders and said, “Why are they silent over the issue. It’s way beyond understanding that why only our honourable CM was giving hate statements against our former deputy CM, tarnishing the party image referring to Pilot as ‘Nikamma’ and ‘Nakara’. Why Congress retained him as PCC chief for 6 years? Don’t you think the people who voted for us would want to know this question,” he said.

While the party leaders kept the workers baffled, Pilot also left no stone unturned to continue the suspense over his affiliation to the party.

On Monday, he released three posts on social media which carried the Congress ‘Hand’ symbol.

In his three posts on social media, he paid tributes to former President ‘Bharat Ratna’ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his death anniversary, wished all the soldiers and countrymen of the Central Reserve Police Force on occasion of its foundation day and also paid tributes to Goswami Tulsidas ji, the author of epics like Ramayana and Vinay Patrika on his birth anniversary.

Further, when party spokesman Randeep Surjewala on Monday said that a few MLAs from Pilot camp are in touch with Gehlot camp and shall join the same soon, another MLA from Pilot camp, Hemaram Chaudhary released a video and said that many MLAs from the Gehlot camp will join Pilot soon once they are freed from ‘camping’ at the resort.

So amid all this suspense, surprise and shocking elements, questions are being raised as to who will emerge stronger in the coming months. Also there are whispers indicating that there are plans of patch up in party as Gehlot is busy targeting Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra while remaining silent on Pilot.

“No matter what is the case, we stand with our leader Ashok Gehlot at this point of time who is all out to save democracy in the nation,” Archana Sharma, former vice president of the PCC told IANS brushing aside all queries.

Politics

BJP’s Ashok Gasti dies of COVID-19; newly-elected Rajya Sabha member breathes his last at Bengaluru hospital

Condoling Gasti’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society

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Ashok Gasti

Bengaluru: Newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Ashok Gasti, who was admitted to a private hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, died on Thursday night, the hospital said.

Gasti, 55, who was admitted to Manipal Hospital on Old Airport Road on 2 September and diagnosed with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, passed away at 10.31 pm, hospital director Manish Rai said in a statement.

Condoling Gasti’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society.

“Rajya Sabha MP Shri Ashok Gasti was a dedicated Karyakarta who worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka. He was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” Modi tweeted.

According to Rai, Gasti was critically ill with multi-organ failure and was on life support system under constant observation of an expert panel of doctors.

“We deeply regret the loss and express our condolences to his family and friends,” Rai said.

A grassroots worker hailing from Raichur, Gasti was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha in June on a BJP ticket.

Coming from the backward community of Savita Samaj, Gasti had been an RSS worker and was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

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India

Farm bills govt’s conspiracy to defeat Green Revolution: Congress

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agriculture reforms bill

New Delhi, Sep 18 : Even as the Lok Sabha passed two of the contentious agriculture reforms bill, the Congress on Thursday upped its ante against the Narendra Modi government over the issue, terming it a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.

Slamming the government, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said: “This government has been eyeing, how they can take the farmers’ land to benefit their capitalist friends, whether is the Land Acquisition Act, whether in the industrial system through weakening the labour courts and now this three-pronged attack on the Indian agricultural system through the two bills on farming – one related to APMC, the other one is related to contract farming and the third bill which is on essential commodities… a three-pronged attack on the Indian farmers.”

Noting the government says that this is a boon for farmers, he said: “Are farmers of India foolish that they don’t understand the bill. If this bill was in the benefit of Indian farmers, why are the farmers are out on the streets? Why are the farmers in Haryana being beaten by the police?”

Targeting the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government is akin to Covid-19 pandemic as it is attacking lives and livelihoods of farmers.

“It is attacking farmers and farm labourers and was bartering agriculture at the doorsteps of crony capitalists,” he said.

“The draconian laws on agriculture will be a death knell for the future of farming in India,” he said, alleging that the BJP-led government is hell-bent upon destroying the farmer and was bartering the agriculture at the altar of a handful of crony capitalists.

Surjewala also claimed that 62 crore farmers and farm labourers have been agitating across India and over 250 farmers organisations are sitting on protest, on hunger strikes and are demonstrating across the length and breadth of India.

He accused the government of dictatorially subverting the “voice of farmers” representatives inside the Parliament and has unleashed a draconian “lathi-danda regime” on protesting farming community.

“The farmers and labourers will never forget the conspiracy of the Modi government to convert the disaster confronting the farmers into an opportunity for the capitalists under the garb of pandemic. The next generations of BJP will have to face the consequences of these anti-farmer misdeeds of the government,” Surjewala said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the interest of farmers and farm labourers cannot be subjugated and be subservient to the “draconian majority” of the BJP in Parliament.

“The Congress shall continue to take on the dark design of a draconian, dictatorial and anti-farmer Modi government, both inside and outside the Parliament… We shall continue to voice the pain and suffering of teeming millions,” he said.

The Congress, along with many other opposition parties as well as NDA constituent Akali Dal, had been opposing the three farm Bills which were earlier brought in as Ordinances. All three – the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 – have been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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Health

Amit Shah Discharged From AIIMS, May Attend Parliament From Monday

Amit Shah may attend the remaining monsoon session of the parliament that began on Monday.

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Amit Shah

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah was discharged from Delhi’s All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital on Thursday, four days after he was re-admitted for a check-up after recovering from COVID-19.

The BJP leader was admitted to AIIMS on Sunday night, nearly two weeks after he was discharged from the hospital. He was earlier admitted to the national capital’s top hospital for “post covid-care”.

The 55-year-old politician had tested positive for coronavirus, which has affected over 51 lakh people in India so far, on August 2 when he was taken to private hospital Medanta in Gurgaon. On August 14, he had tweeted that he would be in home isolation for a few more days on the advice of his doctors.

With his recovery, Mr Shah may attend the remaining monsoon session of the parliament that began on Monday with Covid safety measures, including compulsory face mask and social distancing in place.

With 200 out of 785 members of parliament above 65 years of age, and at least seven Union Ministers and two dozen lawmakers recovering from COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic cast a shadow over the monsoon session.

India recorded its biggest single-day surge of 97,894 new patients on Thursday, the government said, taking the tally past 51 lakh, including over 83,000 deaths.

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