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Same old promise from Rahul to AP

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As expected, there’s nothing that is unexpected during the ongoing visit of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Kurnool district here in AP on Tuesday.

He once again promised the same old promise of conferring the special status on AP immediately after coming to power in the 2019 elections.
He also praised a lot the now-friendly TDP government in AP saying that the successful implementation of Self Help Groups activities here would be inspirational for the rest of the country.

Rahul said all this during an interaction with the students and the youth at a programme held at Byreddy Convention Centre.

The present visit comes amidst lot of anticipation and expectations among the existing small number of leaders and cadres for recapturing the past glory.

In the 2014 elections, the Congress suffered severe losses as even big stalwarts lost their deposits.

Clearly, they tasted the wrath and bitterness of the AP population after the hasty state division despite widespread agitation.

The Congress leaders were also hoping to activate the cadres after Rahul’s visit and launch “Intintiki Congress” (door to door) soon all over the state.

Congress AP President N Raghuveera Reddy has revived the slogan that their party would have a tie-up with the people to defeat the rival forces.

Meanwhile, no agreement is reached over seat sharing between Congress and TDP in Telangana so far.

TDP is demanding over 30 seats while the Congress was ready to give less than 15. There are a total 119 seats in Telangana.

G. Ravikiran

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Congress, BJP attack each other over Mallya; Rahul seeks Jaitley’s resignation

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A fresh war of words broke out between the BJP and Congress over Vijay Mallya on Thursday with Congress President Rahul Gandhi seeking Finance Minister Arun Jaitleys resignation over “free passage” given to the fugitive businessman and the BJP hitting out by alleging that UPA government gave “sweet deals” to him and that Gandhi family “partially owned the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines through proxy”.

The ruling party rejected the demand for Jailtley’s resignation and instead sought to turn the tables on Congress by asking Rahul Gandhi to quit in view of his involvement in National Herald case.

The day saw two press conferences each by the Congress and BJP with Gandhi coming to party’s central office to attack Jaitley.

It came a day after Mallya said he had met Jaitley and the Union minister rubbished the claim of any formal meeting.

Gandhi accused Jaitely of “colluding” with Mallya who is facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore.

He asked why Jaitley did not inform the investigating agencies about Mallya’s plans to leave India.

“There is a clear-cut collusion. He (Jaitley) should have confessed (about the meeting) and he should resign. The Finance Minister talks to an absconder (Mallya) and the absconder tells the Finance Minister that I am going to London. The Finance Minister neither told the CBI, the ED or the police, why?

“He was given a free passage to leave the country by the Finance Minister. There was a lookout notice against Mallya which was diluted to an inform notice. Who changed it? This can be done only by one who controls the CBI,” he alleged.

Gandhi also demanded to know if the decision was taken by Jaitley himself or the “order came from the top”.

“The Finance Minister has colluded with a criminal running away from the country. He was told by the criminal that he is going to run away but the Finance Minister did nothing. The government is lying on Rafale, they are lying on Mallya”.

At the media conference, Congress MP P.L. Punia claimed to give an eyewitness account of the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya in the Central Hall of Parliament before the businessman fled the country on March 2, 2016.

Punia claimed the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya lasted 15-20 minutes and asked if Mallya had taken permission from Jaitley about his planned flight abroad.

Hitting out at the Congress, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that there were documents that show how RBI and UPA under Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had given sweet deals to Kingfisher Airlines.

“And it appears through these chain of documents that Kingfisher Airlines was owned not by Mallya but by the Gandhi family through proxy,” he alleged showing the letters written by RBI to SBI requesting for the restructuring of the loans of Kingfisher Airline

The accuracy of the documents could not be ascertained. There was no immediate response from Rahul Gandhi’s office.

Patra also alleged that the party has enough evidence which shows that Rahul Gandhi was “using black money” and the Gandhi family was helping Mallya with sweet deals.

He claimed that Rahul Gandhi travelled free in Kingfisher Airlines, which was once owned by Mallya.

“Rahul Gandhi took one crore loan from a shell company, we have the confession of the company director,” Patra alleged.

At another press conference, Congress Communications In-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala posed specific questions to the Modi government.

“Why was no action taken against Vijay Mallya for bank fraud despite registration of an FIR by CBI on July 29, 2015? Who asked CBI to change its look-out notice of October 16, 2015 into a mere ‘inform notice’ on November 23, 2015? Who directed the banks to delay filing of the case in the Supreme Court,” he asked.

Earlier in the day, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that all the allegations against Jaitley were “false”.

“All these remarks are being made after Rahul Gandhi’s London visit. Is there anything common between them (Mallya and Rahul Gandhi)?” he asked.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, who addressed a press conference at the BJP headquarters, said Rahul Gandhi was “facing serious criminal charges” and that he “should first resign.”

“Those who took loans from hawala companies and accumulated wealth by taking government land free of cost or at lower rate from National Herald and whose case was rejected by Delhi High Court, should resign first,” he said.

He also dismissed the claims of Punia about Mallya meeting Jaitley in the Central Hall of Parliament.

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Rahul Gandhi biggest buffoon: KCR

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Telangana caretaker Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday described Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the “biggest buffoon” in the country.

“The whole country has seen how he went and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament and winked,” KCR told a news conference.

When asked about Gandhi’s plans to extensively campaign in Telangana, the TRS chief said: “The more he comes, it will be easier for us (to win elections).”

KCR said Rahul Gandhi inherited the legacy of the Congress Delhi empire and hence he was appealing to the people of Telangana not to become slaves to Delhi. “The decisions of Telangana should be taken in Telangana,” he said.

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Rahul in Europe: Emerging as a tougher opponent

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Taking a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book, Congress President Rahul Gandhi used his Europe tour to reach out to non-resident Indians, or NRIs — a group largely known to support Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in recent years. Throughout the tour, he targeted Modi for his style and policies, bitterly attacked the BJP and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and tried to project him and the Congress party as a better alternative.

Gandhi comes from a family where access is carefully controlled and only a select few are allowed to reach its members. But in London, he gave the impression that he’s accessible to the common man. He even mingled with the guests at his gatherings and shook their hands.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday (August 25), he mocked Modi for not talking to them openly. He accused the Prime Minister of not having the courage to answer reporters’ questions. This was a reminder of Modi’s public event in London in April, where he was accused of taking pre-planned and selected questions from the audience and not addressing even a single press conference. But one has to remember that Modi was also accessible to the media before he became Prime Minister. The question is, will Gandhi attend such open events and answer unscripted questions if he ever becomes the Prime Minister of India?

But still, this was a new Rahul Gandhi in London — more mature, aggressive, confident and ready to challenge his rivals. His sustained attacks on Modi, the BJP and the RSS were deliberate and sounded like part of a well-planned theme. It’s clear that he wanted to provoke the ruling party in India in order to set an agenda for debate. By comparing the RSS with Muslim Brotherhood, he wanted to plant a doubt in the minds of the Hindu right-wing organisation’s new supporters in India. This was also an attempt to drive away some voters from the BJP.

By targeting Modi and raising the issue of the alleged threat to India’s institutions under his government, Gandhi was trying to become the darling of the intelligentsia that supported the BJP in 2014. By praising Sushma Swaraj, who he’s bitterly criticised in the past, and attacking Modi for isolating her, Gandhi sought to create a wedge in the cabinet and was trying to impress upon the audience that he favoured an inclusive government where individual ministers were as important as the Prime Minister.

But we all know that Modi’S style of functioning is very similar to Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother, Indira Gandhi. And it’s a fact that in present-day India, leaders of all political parties act like dictators and once in government they rarely allow individual ministers to have an independent voice.

In Europe, Rahul Gandhi cleverly avoided talking about his own ambitions of becoming Prime Minister. He didn’t want other opposition leaders to stop dreaming about that ambition and thus jeopardise their support for an anti-BJP front during next year’s elections. It also went with his theme of projecting himself as a consensus politician.

He fumbled at the press meet earlier when he seemed to agree with Pakistan’s position that the main problem currently between the two countries was that India didn’t want to talk. But later, in answer to a direct question about Imran Khan’s election, he made it clear that relations with Pakistan couldn’t improve as long as institutions like the ISI continued to export violence to India.

The Congress president rightly focussed on the unemployment issue and was honest in saying that most countries are facing that problem and don’t know how to tackle it. He wanted India to follow China where he said small and medium industries had resulted in large-scale industrialisation and massive job creation. But he should know that a democratic India can’t be compared to a totalitarian China. In India, no government can take a decision without attracting scrutiny by the opposition and the media.

But where Rahul Gandhi didn’t come out really clever and mature is when he said that the Congress party was not responsible for the massacre of Sikhs after the assassination of his grandmother in 1984. For the second day in London, he failed to correct himself that members of his party were not only responsible but some of them led mobs to kill Sikhs. Although later his party didn’t give them tickets for parliament and state assemblies, they were never expelled.

Gandhi’s explanation that he condemned all violence and wanted the guilty to be punished, is similar to Modi and BJP leaders saying that they condemned all violence, including those by cow vigilantes, and wanted the perpetrators to be brought to justice. All of a sudden, just months before the general election, Gandhi, has given the BJP and the Akali Dal a major political issue. As Sikhs are in large numbers among the NRIs, he has only managed to provoke their anger against the Congress party.

Gandhi still has a long way to go. He still appears to lack new ideas and the political acumen required to take on Modi. But his Europe tour suggests Modi and the BJP will have to take him seriously. The man they dismissed as “Pappu” for a long time appears to have emerged as a tough challenger.

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RSS to Invite Rahul Gandhi For Event Next Month?

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As per sources, The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is likely to invite Rahul Gandhi, to its event next month. It is known how much stir it caused among the party cadre and leaders when Pranab Mukherjerr attended RSS even earlier (https://www.telugu360.com/pranab-mukherjee-could-be-pm-candidate-if-bjp-lacks-majority-in-2019-shiv-sena/). So now, whether RSS will invite Rahul or not and if they invite, will Rahul attend or not is being discussed among political circles.

The RSS event will be a lecture series and will reportedly focus on “India of the future”. It will be held between September 17 and 19 at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will address the lecture series and present the Sangh’s views on “contemporary views of national importance. Apart from Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, like Sitaram Yechury of the Left, are also likely to be invited. It seems RSS wants to invite people representing different ideologies.

Rahul is sharpest critic of RSS. RSS is a frequent target of attacks from Rahul Gandhi, several times in past. His latest comments made in London provoked a furious response from the BJP, which demanded an immediate apology from Rahul. RSS leaders also made sharp comments on him earlier. When Pranab attended RSS meet in Nagpur, Rahul Gandhi never officially commented but reportedly he was also upset.

We’ll have to wait and see whether RSS will invite him or not and how Rahul responds on this.

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‘Redesigning’ is new name for corruption, says Rahul Gandhi

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Continuing his attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that they were resorting to corruption in the name of ‘redesigning’.

He said that redesigning was the new name for corruption. “Modiji is an expert in redesigning at the Centre and your Chief Minister is an expert in redesigning here,” Gandhi told a huge public meeting at Saroornagar here.

He said Modi redesigned the Rafael deal to benefit his friend to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore while Rao had redesigned irrigation projects so that his family reaped all the benefits.

“The redesigner here is also clapping for the redesigner in Delhi,” he said, while referring to Rao’s support to Modi on demonetization and GST.

He accused both the leaders of suppressing people’s voice and snatching money and land from the poor to fill the pockets of a few rich industrialists.

Gandhi again challenged Modi for a debate on Rafale deal, saying the Prime Minister revised the price of fighter jet from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,600 crore to help his friend.

The Congress President said that while he could understand Modi’s silence on Rafale as corruption was involved, he was not speaking a word even on atrocities on Dalits and tribals, killings of minorities and rapes of women and girls across the country.

Gandhi promised that if voted to power, the Congress would implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) with one slab and not five slabs as being done now. He also declared that the items used by poor would be exempt from GST.

He slammed the Modi government for increasing prices of petrol and diesel despite the fall in crude prices in the international market from $140 to $70 per barrel.

“Prices of petrol and diesel are coming down in all other countries but they are going up in India. The money you pay is going to the pockets of a few rich industrialists,” he told the gathering.

Gandhi said the dream which the people of Telangana had during the movement for a separate state had not been fulfilled during the last four years.

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Why PM is silent on rapes, asks Rahul Gandhi

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on incidents of rape across the country.

Addressing a meeting of women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) here, he said though Modi gave the slogan of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”, he is maintaining silence on rape of women and girls in different states.

“A BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh raped a woman but the Prime Minister was silent. In Bihar minor girls were raped but he did not speak a word. Incidents of rape are taking place across the country but he is not opening his mouth,” he said.

Rahul, who arrived here on a two-day visit, kicked off the party’s campaign for the coming elections to Telangana Assembly and Lok Sabha.

He said that Congress strongly believes that the country cannot progress without women and they should get their due in politics, economy and other spheres of life.

Stating that SHGs are key to women empowerment, Rahul said if Congress party comes to power in Telangana and at the Centre, it would extend all help to SHGs like its previous governments had done.

Rahul interacted with the women, who complained that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government has stopped bearing interest component for bank loans taken by SHGs. They also spoke about non-implementation of “Abhay Hastam”, a contributory pension scheme for SHG members launched by the previous Congress government in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The Congress president promised that if Congress is voted to power, it will bear interest of SHG loans and revive the pension scheme.

Rahul targeted Narendra Modi government for what he called waiving loans of 15 rich industrialists to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh crore but not waiving loans of women, farmers, and small and medium enterprises.

He alleged that the demonetization was aimed at taking money from the pockets of poor and waive the huge bank loans of top industrialists and businessmen.

Terming GST (Goods and Services Tax) as “Gabbar Singh Tax”, the Congress President reiterated that if voted to power, his party would implement GST with single slab and there will be no need for people to fill different forms every month.

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RG’s report card on Modi: Campaigning – Pass | Rest all – Failed!

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Indian National Congress President Rahul Gandhi has issued his report card on PM Narendra Modi’s performance over the last four years. May 26 commemorates 4 years of BJP and PM Modi rule, after the latter took the reins as Prime Minister of India on May 26th 2014.

Talking to the national media in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi went on to take sarcastic jibes on the PM. ‘Modi has brought many revolutionary reforms in the nation. Especially, the demonetization of HDC (High Denomination Currency) on November 8th, 2016 made the people run after the banks. With GST, the entire nation has been brought under one common taxation system.

Though he spoke about the ‘National Health Protection Scheme’, where approximately 10 crore families, or 50 crore people will be covered up to Rs 5 lakh is yet to be implemented’, said Rahul Gandhi.
Following is the report card tweet posted by Rahul Gandhi on Twitter:


Agriculture
F

Foreign Policy
F

Fuel Prices
F

Job Creation
F

Slogan Creation

A+

Self-Promotions

A+

Yoga

B-

Remarks: Master Communicator; Struggles with complex issues; Short Attention Span

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Naidu’s tap on Rahul’s back, will it be a pat or slap on TDP?

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Telugu Desam supremo Chandrababu Naidu had tapped on the back of Congress president Rahul Gandhi the other day in Bengaluru. He shook his hands with Rahul Gandhi first and then pulled him to the front row as all the leaders waved at the crowd. Then as Rahul was leaving the place, Chandrababu Naidu once again shook his hand and gave a pat on the back of the Congress chief.

The TDP chief was not subconscious or unconscious when he did this to Rahul Gandhi. It was neither accidental. Even the sharing of dais was very clear for him and he knew he would have to face the Congress chief. Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao too knew this and had advanced his visit to Bengaluru by one day to avoid meeting Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi. But, Chandrababu Naidu preferred this meeting and acted as he desired.

Interestingly, when Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi reached the venue and were walking towards the dais, Chandrababu Naidu was behind them, though reached Bengaluru several hours before them. It is said that Chandrababu Naidu must have greeted both Rahul and Sonia behind the stage before coming under the focus of the still and video cameras. That is what Chandrababu Naidu is known for. But what he did with the Congress leaders right in front of the cameras is only visible while what had happened behind is for the people to guess.

Even before the dais was cleared by the leaders one after the other, the videos and photographs of the venue starting moving fast in the social media. In Andhra Pradesh, the photographs of Chandrababu Naidu shaking hands with Rahul and patting his back went viral. There is discussion across the State on the possibilities of Chandrababu Naidu going with the Congress in the next elections. While some welcomed this move, there are several others who are against the Congress-TDP alliance in the State.

The hard core loyalists of the two parties have been fighting for the past three decades and they don’t approve of this alliance. It is certainly not a positive development for these loyalists and some of the leaders from both the parties. But, there are some who want and claim that there are no permanent enemies in politics. The TDP leaders are already making positive moves towards building a positive talk in favour of the Congress-TDP alliance for the next elections as the target of the two parties is to defeat BJP and the common enemy for the two parties is Narendra Modi.

“When the target is same for two people and the enemy is strong, there is nothing wrong in the two people joining hands to defeat the strong enemy,” is the new statement that the TDP leaders have started floating in the State after the Bengaluru development.

With the leaders of the two parties differing on the alliance, it is to be seen if Chandrababu Naidu’s tap on Rahul Gandhi’s shoulders would be a pat on TDP’s back or a slap on its face.

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Rahul Gandhi will take part in the Bus Yatra – TPCC Chief

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TPCC Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy who went on an important trip to New Delhi has brought some exciting news to the Telangana Congress cadre. Speaking in a press meet, the TPCC Chief confirmed that, INC National President Rahul Gandhi will take part in the Congress Party’s ‘Praja Chaitanya Yatra’ in Telangana.
In a special press meet, Uttam Kumar Reddy went on to share some key information. ‘I met Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and discussed on the latest political developments in Telangana, and the current atmosphere. He will also take part in the Praja Chaitanya Yatra.

We briefed Rahul Gandhi about the recent judgment that came in favour of the expelled MLAs; Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar. In its judgment, the High Court said the expulsion is invalid. In fact, Rahul Gandhi appreciated the MLAs for their fighting spirit’.

This did not leave Uttam Kumar Reddy from not condemning KCR. He demanded that CM KCR and Telangana Assembly Speaker Madhusudhana Chary should resign for their posts.

Political analysts believe that Rahul Gandhi’s presence for the ‘Praja Chaitanya Yatra’ could propel the Congress party to a decent extent in Telangana.

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Rahul says he, his sister have ‘completely forgiven’ father’s killers

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday that he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi had “completely forgiven” their father Rajiv Gandhi’s killers.

LTTE, a militant organisation from Sri Lanka, led by Prabhakaran was blamed for plotting and executing the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

When asked during an interactive session here if he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi had forgiven his father Rajiv Gandhi’s killers, Gandhi said: “We were very upset and hurt and for many years. We were quite angry. But, somehow, completely…in fact, completely (forgiven).

“When one realises that when these events take place, its collision of ideas, forces, confusion. That’s where you get caught. When I saw Prabhakaran lying dead on TV, I got two feelings – first was why they are humiliating this man in this way.

“And second was…I felt really bad for him and for his kids,” said Gandhi during the interactive session.

“We have been through this experience, so we understand. I literally find it difficult to hate people, even my sister does. I don’t like any kind of violence.”

Gandhi also said: “We knew that my father was going to die. We knew that my grandmother was going to die. In politics, when you mess with the wrong forces, and if you stand for something, you will die. That’s pretty clear.

“My grandmother told me she was going to die and my father…I told him he was going to die.”

“In politics, we deal with forces, big forces, which are normally not visible. You are dealing with structures that are powerful. Those are not visible but they can hurt you,” he added.

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Rahul Gandhi takes this ‘Big (Data) step’ to improve Congress prospects

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointed Economist Praveen Chakravarty as the head of the party’s ‘Data Analytics’ department. Rahul Gandhi tweeted from his official twitter handle – “Excited to announce a ‘Data Analytics’ dept under the leadership of Praveen Chakravarty to effectively use ‘Big Data’,”

Rahul Gandhi revamped the party’s computer cell as Data Analytics Department and appointed Praveen Chakravarty as its chairman with immediate effect. Praveen Chakravarty is a former investment banker, angel investor and now a political economist. Praveen Chakravarty, was a graduate from BITS, Pilani and Wharton Business School. Praveen Chakravarty quit as Managing Director of BNP Paribas India to work as a volunteer with the central government’s UID project (Aadhaar)under Nandan Nilekani. Chakravarty’s frequent opinion articles in newspapers use data extensively and challenge conventional wisdom. Chakravarty has been appointed to head the analytics division of Congress party and his role would be to leverage big data and steer the party based on insights derived from the data.

Big Data and analytics playing a major role in political campaigning, off late. When Trump won as US president, Cambridge Analytica’s campaign using Big data was attributed a major role in Trump’s success. This company profiled the personality of every adult in the US – 220 million people through a combination of demographics and attitudinal factors, revealed in consumer and lifestyle habits. This personality profiling was used for targeted political marketing through ads on social media platforms. Profiling helps with identifying relevant issues and creating specific ads for citizens. Cambridge Analytica’s work has generated interest in political classes in Switzerland, Germany, Australia and India. Latest step by Rahul Gandhi will also be seen in the same dimension.

We need to wait and see what kind of role analytics will be playing in upcoming 2019 elections.

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Rahul Gandhi urged to take action against Telangana Congress leader

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Senior TRS leader and Telangana minister K. T. Rama Rao has demanded Congress President Rahul Gandhi to take action against party’s state leader Revanth Reddy for his remarks against Health Minister Lakshma Reddy.

Rama Rao on Monday tweeted that Rahul Gandhi and state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy should respond to the “cheap” utterances by Revanth Reddy.

“It is for Rahul Gandhi Ji or Uttam Kumar Reddy Garu to respond to this cheap, crass & downright ridiculous utterances towards a respectable cabinet minister in Telangana,” said Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

“They were swift with Mani Shankar Aiyar’s behaviour but let’s see if it was selective to Gujarat elections,” the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader, added referring to the senior Congress leader’s suspension from the party for his utterances against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Revanth Reddy, who recently quit Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to join Congress, used “inappropriate” words while criticizing the Health Minister, who is also a physician, allegedly describing him “Munna Bhai MBBS”.

Lakshma Reddy reacted sharply to say that “Munna Bhai” at least worked for a good cause in the movie while Revanth Reddy is like notorious thief Charles Sobhraj.

TRS leaders in Mahabubnagar district on Sunday lodged a police complaint against Revanth Reddy.

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We accept people’s verdict: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accepted the party’s loss in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat and congratulated the new governments in both states.

“The Congress party accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states. I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me,” Gandhi tweeted.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is poised to win both states.

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Modi congratulates Rahul on ‘election’ as Congress President

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated his political bete noire Rahul Gandhi on his election as the new Congress President and wished him a fruitful tenure.

“I congratulate Rahul Ji on his election as Congress President. My best wishes for a fruitful tenure,” Modi tweeted.

Modi has been regularly mocking Gandhi, calling his elevation to head the Congress party as dynastic politics and a redux of “Aurangzeb raj”.

Gandhi, 47, a three-time MP, is the sixth Nehru-Gandhi scion to head the grand old party after his great great grandfather Motilal Nehru, his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, his grandmother Indira Gandhi and his father Rajiv Gandhi. He takes over from his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Modi during his Gujarat election campaigning has been taking frequent digs at Gandhi, comparing the family to Mughal kings.

“When Shahjahan came after Jahangir or Aurangzeb came after Shahjahan, were there any elections for that?” he said last week. “I congratulate the Congress on their ‘Aurangzeb Raj’,” he said, likening Gandhi to the unpopular Mughal ruler.

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RaGa’s ‘love note’ to BJP

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Office of RG ‏

For all my BJP friends: unlike Narendrabhai, I am human. We do make the odd mistake and that’s what makes life interesting. Thanks for pointing it out and please do keep it coming, it really helps me improve. Love you all.

Can you believe the would-be president of Congress Rahul Gandhi tweeting a ‘love note’ to the saffron party most denounced by him and his cadre? There is no reason to disbelieve it as that is taken from his official Twitter handle.

Did he really change his heart or was it a part of his new strategy to reach out to the ruling party at the Centre and in several states as he is going to be the Grand Old Party’s boss in a few days? One will never know. But his tweet has already created quite a buzz on the social site, with reactions in thousands pouring in by the hour.

Congress and BJP are involved in a do-or-die battle in Gujarat where State Assembly elections will be held on December 9 and 14 and results will be out on December 18.

Rahul’s tweet will in no way change the fortunes of his party in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. But it points to a subtle shift in his approach to dealing with his adversaries. By now, he must have realized how much Gujaratis love Modi and castigating him at every campaign meeting won’t fetch him any votes. On the other hand, it can have an adverse effect on the party and Congress candidates.

So, with a ‘love note,’ Rahul said it all and bared his ‘soft side’.

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After “Pappu”, Rahul Gandhi gets another new tag

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PM Modi, who is a great orator too, takes a dig at Rahul’s elevation in the Congress party and coined a new term for Rahul Gandhi. In fact it is the congress leaders who inadvertantly gave lead to Modi to give such new tag.

BJP leaders were all the time questioning dynasty politics of Congress. Now with Rahul Gandhi getting top post of the party, the criticism seems only to intensify. Congress leader Mani Shanker Aiyar, in a bid to justify their election of Rahul to top post, made some incongrouous comments. He said ‘did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jahangir, Shahjahan came, was any election held? After Shahjahan it was understood that Aurangzeb would be the leader”. These were the comments came from senior congress leader. Probably he forgot that we are in a democratic setup but not in princely states now.

Modi was very quick to retaliate on this. He gave his trademark punchline,“Does the Congress accept that it is a one family party? We don’t want this Aurangzeb’s rule. For us, country comes first, 125 crore people of this country are our high-command,” Modi said. The usage of the term ‘Aurangzeb raj’ for the Congress has loaded connotations at a time when campaigning for the Gujarat election is at its peak and as everybody knows, Gujarath is a state with negligible Muslim population and also for many in India, Aurangzeb remains a hated Mughal emperor.

It is a known news that Election Commission has barred the ruling BJP in Gujarat from using the word “Pappu” in an electronic advertisement, which apparently targeted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, calling it “derogatory”. While the most popular “Pappu” tag is beaten to death, this new-found tag (Aurangzeb) by Modi to describe dynastic rule in the Congress would come in handy for several BJP leaders to unleash a fresh bout of attacks on the Congress and Rahul Gandhi.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Stage set for Rahul to become Cong chief

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The stage is set to make Rahul Gandhi as Congress president. The all-powerful Congress Working Committee that met in New Delhi on Monday had resolved to elevate the 47-year-old Gandhi-Nehru family scion to the position of party president. But it was made clear that he would move to the top in accordance with Congress party constitution.

Accordingly, a notification will be issued on December 1, nominations will be received until December 4 and they can be withdrawn before December 11, election will be held on December 16 and vote counting, if any, is on December 19. All these formalities will be observed only if Rahul’s candidature is challenged. There is no such possibility as Rahul Gandhi was anointed long ago. In fact, he has been the de facto party chief ever since his mother and the incumbent Congress president Sonia Gandhi has not been keeping well for some time.

Therefore, it’s a foregone conclusion that Rahul will take over from Sonia –officially – most probably on December 5, the day on which nomination papers will be scrutinised. Since there won’t be any challenger, he will be declared Congress president.

Some party leaders and cadre have been demanding his elevation for a long time, hoping to project him as the Congress candidate for prime minister in 2019. Though he is butt of ridicule and a favourite subject for cartoonists and memes, his recent poll campaign in Gujarat has impressed even some of his adversaries.

Thus, Rahul’s elevation, just a few days before the first phase of Gujarat Assembly election on December 9, is expected to boost Congress winning chances in Prime Minister Modi’s home state. If Rahul can pull it off, the victory will be the greatest in post-Independence history as it will bring Congress to power after 22 years in that state and raises hopes and expectations of Congress returning to power at the Centre.

That possibility can’t be pooh-poohed considering the way BJP is running the country with misplaced priorities. If Congress comes to power, even in Gujarat, it’s not because its governance will be better than that of the saffron party, but to punish BJP.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rahul becomes Shiva bhakt

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Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has come of age! As he is preparing himself to be anointed as party chief anytime now, he is showing the true colours of a politician. Surprisingly, he is honing his skills in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is what is called taking the bull by the horns. And, his party brass and admirers are quite impressed by his performance during his four-day whirlwind tour of poll-bound Gujarat.

A determined Congress led by Rahul Gandhi wants to storm Modi’s bastion that has been in BJP hands for over two decades and it is going the whole hog to clinch victory. Rahul has moved through north Gujarat like a veteran during his four-day trip that started last Saturday.

Besides meeting all those who oppose BJP ‘hegemony,’ Rahul interacted with ordinary people, including chaiwallahs, and shared their food and concerns to present self as one among them.

But the biggest surprise he sprang is a spree of visits to various temples across Gujarat. For instance, he kicked off his four-day Navsarjan Yatra in north Gujarat last Saturday only after visiting Aksharadham temple. Since then, literally, he had been on a temple run, visiting shrines, attending Aarti sessions and offering prayers, presumably for Congress success.

In fact, Rahul has made it a point to visit local temples on his Gujarat campaign trail, triggering backlash from the saffron party that he is doing all this to woo Hindu vote.

But his declaration on Monday after having a darshan of Veer Meghmaya in Patan that “I am a devotee of Lord Shiva” is a revelation. In an apparent rebuttal of BJP criticism of his new found devotion to Hindu deities, Rahul said, “Let them say whatever they want to say. My truth is with me.”

Rahul has never publicly acknowledged that he is staunch believer of Hindu Gods, let alone Shiva. By pronouncing his faith in Lord Shiva, is Gandhi-Nehru scion trying to seek divine blessings for Congress success in Gujarat or is it a mere poll gimmick every political leader resorts to before the elections?

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rahul to visit Surat on note ban first anniversary

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Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Surat in Gujarat on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the government’s demonetisation decision, which the party is observing as “Black Day”.

In what will be his second visit this month, Gandhi will hold informal meetings with industry representatives and workers during the day, according to the party.

The Gujarat assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14.

The party said Gandhi will have interaction with traders at Sanjeev Kumar Auditorium, Adajan Gam in Surat and later be part of candlelight vigil near Vivekanand Statue in Chowk Bazar, Surat.

His visit comes after senior party leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in Ahmedabad on Tuesday where he addressed a large crowd of businesspersons against demonetisation and GST.

The Congress party will observe November 8 as “Black Day” with country-wide protests against demonetisation with the theme “Bhugat Raha hai desh” (the country is suffering).

After Surat, Gandhi is likely to visit North Gujarat from November 9 to 11.

He had visited the poll-bound state twice in October.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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