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Sonia Gandhi calls meeting of former party chiefs of Delhi

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Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) With just five months left for the Assembly elections in the national capital, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of former city unit chiefs on Thursday evening to discuss the leadership issue as the party has been left headless after the death of former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, party sources said.

A Congress source told IANS, “The four former Delhi Congress chiefs, Arvinder Singh Lovely, Ajay Maken, Jaiprakash Agarwal and Subhash Chopra have been asked to attend the meeting with Soniaji at her residence at 6.15 p.m.”

He said that the Congress Chief is likely to discuss the issue of the new Delhi unit chief, which post has been lying vacant since July 20 after the death of Dikshit.

The source pointed out that discussions over the new city in-charge will also be held in the meeting as P.C. Chacko has urged the senior leadership to relieve him of his duties.

Last week, Chacko along with all the 14 district presidents had met Sonia Gandhi at her residence. Even former Delhi Minister Lovely along with senior party leader A.K. Walia had met Sonia Gandhi to discuss the leadership issue.

On Tuesday, disgruntled AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk Alka Lamba also met Sonia Gandhi leading to speculation that she might join the grand old party ahead of the Assembly elections.

The Congress, which is eyeing a comeback in the national capital, which it had ruled for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2013 under Dikshit, is still unable to put its house in order. On the other hand, the BJP has already launched its election campaign across the city.

Delhi BJP unit chief Manoj Tiwari, who represents the northeast Delhi parliamentary constituency and senior BJP leader Vijay Goel have been holding a series of programmes in Delhi in the run up to the Assembly elections, which is due early next year.

The Congress had lost the 2013 elections to the Aam Aadmi Party and was completely wiped out in the 2015 Assembly elections when the AAP won 67 out of the 70 seats. The BJP had won three seats.

Election

Trump plans to accept Republican presidential nomination at White House

Trump’s intent to give the speech at the White House triggered criticism from the Democrats, who said it would be both illegal and unethical for the President to do so.

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Donald Trump

Washington, Aug 14 : President Donald Trump said that he plans to deliver his convention speech while formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination from the White House lawn, according to media reports.

“I’ll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good. It makes the country feel good,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying to the New York Post in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Earlier this week, he had floated the idea of giving the speech at either the White House or Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, an American Civil War battlefield.

Trump told the New York Post that he would visit Gettysburg at a later date.

“We’d do it possibly outside on one of the lawns. We have various lawns, so we could have it outside,” he said, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a reason.

Trump’s intent to give the speech at the White House triggered criticism from the Democrats, who said it would be both illegal and unethical for the President to do so.

A federal law known as the Hatch Act generally forbids the use of government property and employees for political activities with some exceptions

“Whether it’s legally wrong or ethically out of the question, it shouldn’t even have been something that was expressed,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“For the President of the US to degrade once again the White House, as he has done over and over again by saying he’s going to completely politicize it, is something that should be rejected right out of hand,” she added.

The pandemic, which has infected over 5 million people and killed more than 160,000 in the US, has forced the Republican Party to scale back its national convention, scheduled for August 24-27, by moving most of the activities to be held online, while only some in-person business meetings will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Trump scrapped the part of the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, due to skyrocketing COVID-19 caseloads in the state.

He originally planned to give the acceptance speech there on the last day of the convention.

The President still insisted on having a big crowd of supporters at his speech, telling the New York Post that “it’s very big, a very big lawn. We could have a big group of people”.

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Trump amplifies Kamala Harris ‘birther’ theory

For years, Mr Trump promoted a false “birther” theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the US.

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 Kamala Harris

President Donald Trump says he has heard Democratic running mate Kamala Harris “doesn’t qualify” to serve as US vice-president, amplifying a fringe legal theory critics decry as racist.

Ms Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in Oakland, California, on 20 October 1964.

But a constitutional law professor has questioned her eligibility.

For years, Mr Trump promoted a false “birther” theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the US.

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Biden, Harris appear together for 1st time as running mates

Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and an Indian immigrant mother, later took to the podium saying she was “incredibly honored by this responsibility” of the vice presidency, and that she was “ready to work.”

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joe biden kamala harris

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 : U.S. presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attended Wednesday a campaign event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, together with Kamala Harris, his choice of Democratic vice presidential candidate, in what was the duo’s first public appearance as running mates.

Postponed for several hours due to power outage on site, the event, held in a basketball venue, finally saw the former vice president and the senator from California walk out side by side, both donning masks.

“I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America and that’s senator Kamala Harris,” Biden said, praising the first African as well as South Asian-American woman to be nominated for vice president in a major party as being “smart,” “tough,” “experienced,” and “a proven fighter for the backbone of this country – the middle class.”

Sitting next to the podium and keeping social distance with Biden as he spoke, Harris, however, took off the mask as she listened to Biden, who spoke without wearing the mask either.

Biden in his remarks pledged that a “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan to meet the challenge of Covid-19 and turn the corner on this pandemic,” adding that they will adhere to “masking, clear science-based guidance,” meanwhile “dramatically scaling up testing, getting states and local governments the resources they need to open the schools and businesses safely.”

Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and an Indian immigrant mother, later took to the podium saying she was “incredibly honored by this responsibility” of the vice presidency, and that she was “ready to work.”

She said she was “so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination and resilience make my presence here today even possible.”

The California Democrat, who on Tuesday emerged from about 10 women finalists to become Biden’s vice presidential pick, bluntly blamed President Donald Trump for his “mismanagement” of the coronavirus, claiming that as a result of Trump’s failures, “our economy has taken one of the biggest hits out of all the major industrialized nations.”

Recalling how her parents met each other while protesting for civil rights in Oakland, California, in the 1960s, Harris said her mom and dad would bring her to protests as a little girl “strapped tightly in my stroller.”

Being someone who spent most of her political career as a prosecutor, Harris suggested that it was the family tradition that made her devote her life to “making real the words carved into the United State Supreme Court: Equal justice under law.”

While Biden said he and Harris “were in a battle for the soul of the nation,” Harris said the moment right now “is a moment of real consequence for America,” encouraging voters to “vote like never before because we need more than a victory on November 3rd.”

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