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We are reformists, not rebels, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

Sibal had also expressed unhappiness that no senior party leader had spoken on the Bihar results.

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is one of the dissenters who had questioned the party leadership and functioning, has sought that the party hold elections to strengthen the organisation and make it more responsible.

Dismissing allegations of rebellion levelled at the dissenters, Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said “we are reformists” and “this is all for the revival of the party”.

Becoming the second senior leader after former Union Minister Kapil Sibal to speak out on party affairs after the party’s dismal performance in the Bihar Assembly polls, Azad said that the “Congress should shed the five star culture, at least in elections”, and insisted that leaders should hit the roads and reach out to people.

“There is no connect between the leaders and the people,” he contended.

Insisting on the organisational elections which was a key demand by the “G23” group, Azad held that elections from block to state chief should be held “so that people should be more responsible and work for the party”.

Azad also said that there is no issues with the first family in the Congress and gave a clean chit to interim chief Sonia Gandhi and former President Rahul Gandhi.

However, he noted that the party should be more on ground level at least during elections which is perceived a direct criticism of leaders involved in the Bihar elections.

Sibal too had raised similar concerns. Contending that he was “compelled to speak publicly” as there is “no forum in the party to discuss party issues”, he said that the Congress needs efficient and senior leaders to manage elections.

His statement, coming in wake of the party’s dismal performance in the Bihar Assembly polls as well as the string of bypolls in various states, were viewed as an apparent attack on team Rahul Gandhi whose handpicked team was involved in the election process.

Sibal had also expressed unhappiness that no senior party leader had spoken on the Bihar results.

The group of 23 leaders had written a letter to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi in August, seeking a complete overhaul of the party and elections from block to the Congress Working Committee level, but came under major attack.

Politics

‘Youth must be made aware of voter registration’

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On the occasion of 11thYouth, aware voter registration, PM M odi, National Voters Day (NVD), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasised on the need to spread awareness and ensure voter registration, especially among youth.

In a tweet, Modi said, “National Voters Day is an occasion to appreciate the remarkable contribution of the EC to strengthen our democratic fabric and ensure smooth conduct of elections.”

“This is also a day to spread awareness on the need of ensuring voter registration, particularly among the youth,” the Prime Minister said.

Election Commission of India on Monday is celebrating the day on the theme of ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed’.

The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of the Election Commission of India on January 25, 1950.

The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximise enrolment, especially for the new voters.

Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilised to spread awareness among the voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) in the NVD functions.

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Priyanka lends help to deceased party worker’s kin

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Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has lended financial support to the family of a party worker who died in a road accident while he was on his way to attend a party programme.

“Tribhuvan Singh, a party worker from Ghazipur district died in a road accident while he was going to attend a nyay panchayat meeting in his area with his block president,” a Congress functionary said.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke to the family members and came to know about the financial condition of his family.

She then assigned party secretary in-charge Bajirao Khade to reach out to the family and provide financial help of Rs 2 lakh from the party.

On Sunday, Bajirao visited the family of Tribhuvan Singh and handed over the aid to them, the functionary said.

Since the past 45 days, Uttar Pradesh Congress has been running Sangathan Srijan Abhiyan phase II. It is intended to form nyay panchayat committees and elect nyay panchayat presidents.

Out of 8,150 nyay panchayats, the Congress claims to have completed 5,200 nyay panchayat meetings and subsequent formations.

For the last one-month, district observers have been stationed in their respective district to do the groundwork.

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“Tremendous Growth In ‘GDP”’: Rahul Gandhi’s Dig Over Fuel Price Hike

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the record hike in petrol and diesel prices, claiming that his government was busy collecting taxes while the public is plaqued with inflation.

“Modi ji has shown tremendous growth in ‘GDP’ i.e. gas-diesel-petrol prices! The public is plagued by inflation, Modi government is busy in tax collection,” Mr Gandhi wrote in a tweet in Hindi.

Petrol and diesel prices in the country on Saturday touched new all-time highs after rates were increased for the fourth time this week.

Petrol is currently being sold at ₹ 85.70 per litre in Delhi and ₹ 92.28 in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Diesel rate climbed to ₹ 75.88 a litre in the national capital and to ₹ 82.66 per litre in Mumbai, the price data showed.

This is the second consecutive day of rate increase and the fourth this week. In all prices have gone up by Re 1 per litre this week.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier this week blamed Saudi oil output cut for the surge in oil prices but remained non-committal on tax cuts.

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