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Status quo, says Maken on political crisis in Rajasthan

Congress top sources said that, “if Pilot wants to return there should be no preconditions as this will set a wrong precedent.”

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Sachin Pilot

New Delhi, Aug 6 : There is “status quo” in the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan as there have been no talks with the rebel MLAs belonging to the Sachin Pilot camp to get them back to the Congress party fold. However, the party said that it has “majority” numbers and can prove the same on the floor of the House.

Senior spokesperson of the Congress and special observer to Rajasthan, Ajay Maken said that “status quo” would not be a wrong word at all. Maken was responding to questions as he held a virtual press conference from Jaisalmer where the Congress MLAs belonging to the Gehlot camp are holed up.

The Congress leader said that the party has the numbers and is ready to prove majority, adding that even the opposition had not moved a no-confidence motion.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot along with his supporting MLAs have rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, however the Congress has appealed to them several times to return to the party fold.

Congress top sources said that, “if Pilot wants to return there should be no preconditions as this will set a wrong precedent.”

While the Congress claims that it has a comfortable majority, the party is wary of the numbers since the Rajasthan High Court issued a notice to Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi on Wednesday on petitions filed by BSP national Secretary Satish Mishra and BJP MLA Madan Dilawar challenging the merger of 6 BSP MLAs with the Congress.

However in a bid to pacify the rebel MLAs the Rajasthan Special Operation Group (SOG) has scrapped the sedition charges clamped on Congress MLAs accused of alleged horse-trading to topple the state government. The SOG of Rajasthan Police on Tuesday transferred the case to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said in Jaisalmer on August 1 that if those who were engaged in the conspiracy to destabilise the government in the state confess to the party high command and are forgiven, he would also embrace them.

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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