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Sonia Gandhi rushed to Ganga Ram Hospital after ‘uneasiness’

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Congress’ interim President Sonia Gandhi was on Sunday rushed to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here for a check-up after complaining of “uneasiness”.

Gandhi reportedly suffered an asthma attack but this was not confirmed.

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As Rahul Gandhi sulks, Sonia’s coterie is back in Congress

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With an angry Rahul Gandhi sulking and his mother Sonia Gandhi returning to take charge of the Congress, the syndicate of her coterie is back in the party and asserting its clout.

This is clear from a slew of decisions taken during the last over one month after Sonia Gandhi took charge, most of which have been undoing of the decisions taken during the presidentship of her son Rahul Gandhi.

To name a few, Rahul Gandhi’s appointee Ashok Tanwar was removed as Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party General Secretary In-Charge of Haryana, sided with Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The seniors in the party are not willing to hand over the baton to young leadership, said a youth leader considered close to Rahul’s team. The return of Sonia Gandhi is also marked by return of her powerful political Secretary Ahmed Patel, who is now Treasurer of the party.

The buzz in the Congress is that there is a power tussle between the respective teams of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. ‘Team Sonia’ is calling the shots in AICC, a party leader said.

This was clear during the episode involving the dramatic appearance and press conference at the AICC headquarters on August 21 by P. Chidambaram, who was wanted by CBI in INX deal case.

His appearance at 24, Akbar Road, accompanied by a host of Congress workers and leaders like Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vivek Tankha, was organized and choreographed by Patel.

The press meet was organized to enable Chidambaram to tell the media that he was not on the run and that he had done no wrong.

Even on Monday last, before Sonia Gandhi along with Manmohan Singh went to meet Chidambaram in Tihar jail, she sent Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad to meet him.

However, in these series of events, Janardan Dwivedi has been missed out. He was removed by Rahul Gandhi. But Motilal Vora enjoys the same clout, being In-charge of the party Headquarter.

At the same time, Rahul Gandhi has managed retention of some of his close confidantes in key positions, like K C Venugopal, who continues as General Secretary (Oganisation).

The appointments of election screening committees in Maharashtra and Haryana also had the stamp of Rahul Gandhi. Jyotiraditya Scindia was made the head of Maharashtra screening committee while Madhusudan Mistry was made the head of Haryana screening committee.

Mistry, like Patel, hails from Gujarat and two are considered rivals in the state politics.

The recent appointment of Supriya Shrinate, Ragini Nayak and Sharmishta Mukherjee in the AICC media department also tells the story of Rahul intervening in party affairs.

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Can Sonia revive Congress?

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It has been over a month since Sonia Gandhi took charge of the Congress once again but the party is still to recover from the severe setback it suffered in the Lok Sabha elections and there seems to be no clear plan in sight about its revival.

The grand old party, which could manage to win only 52 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, is ridden with infighting and desertions, besides seemingly the lack of direction. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it had got 44 seats.

Amid despair and son Rahul Gandhi’s decision to step down from the post of party president, Sonia Gandhi was appointed as the party’s interim chief on August 10 at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), its highest decision-making body.

Rahul relinquished the post, to which he had been appointed in 2017, taking moral responsibility for the electoral debacle.

The immediate task at Sonia Gandhi’s hands is to ensure cohesion in the party, stop desertions and prepare for the Assembly elections due in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana in the next few months.

On September 12, she held a meeting with all the party general secretaries, states’ in-charge and state unit chiefs and emphasized on the need for coordination, while invoking the ideology of the party as well as that of Mahatma Gandhi.

She advised party leaders to not only agitate on social media, but also to go to the people and highlight the misdeeds of the government over economic slowdown and retrenchment in several sectors.

Some sections in the party say Sonia Gandhi has taken some “corrective steps” over the last one month, but some others feel she has failed to take any measures to revive the party after the Lok Sabha poll drubbing.

“We cannot see a revival plan till date. No major decision has yet been taken,” a party leader told IANS.

The party leader pointed out that a decision on ‘one-man, one-post’ is yet to be implemented in the central leadership.

Giving examples of party leaders holding multiple posts, he said Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also holds the post of General Secretary and Haryana in-charge. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath is also the state unit chief and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot is also the state unit chief.

He further said there is no indication yet from the central leadership to boost the morale of the party workers which has been completely shattered. “And to boost the morale of the party workers and supporters, a major reform in the party is required.”

Besides, the poll-bound states, the party needs leadership change in many other states like Karnataka, Telangana, Goa, where the party has witnessed desertions after the Lok Sabha polls.

In these states, the Congress has seen mass desertions by its MLAs over the last few months. In Karnataka, the party lost its 14-month coalition government to the BJP in July after several MLAs switched sides.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress leader pointed out, all the district committees of the party were dissolved in July this year but no decision has been taken since to reconstitute those.

“And now there are by-polls in 13 Assembly constituencies (of UP),” he said, adding, “So, who is going to lead the party there?”

On the other hand, a Congress general secretary, wishing not to be named, told IANS, “Sonia Gandhi has done a lot of work in the last one month. She has saved the party from splitting in Haryana and Maharashtra, by taking corrective decisions at right time before it was too late.”

As an example of Sonia Gandhi’s “achievements”, the party leader referred to the appointment of former union minister Kumari Selja, considered close to her, as the Haryana Congress chief by replacing Ashok Tanwar, a close confidante of Rahul Gandhi.

“While doing so, she also appointed former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda as the chairman of the Election Committee and the CLP as well as the leader of the party in the state, thus ending his threat to the party, which he gave during his mega rally in Rohtak on August 18,” he said.

He noted that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson has also taken organisational decisions in Maharashtra, where the Assembly polls will be held shortly.

“By appointing Balasaheb Tharot as the party state unit chief, she has given an indication that the party is not taking the Assembly elections lightly in the state,” he said.

He said with revocation of the expulsion of former state minister and Vidarbha leader Satish Chaturvedi, Sonia Gandhi has given a clear message that the party wants to make a comeback in this election.

She has also appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as chairman of screening committee for Maharashtra polls. Scindia is engaged in a bitter fight with Kamal Nath, Chief Minister of his home state Madhya Pradesh.

She also appointed Rameshwar Oraon as the Jharkhand Congress chief, following the resignation of Ajoy Kumar, who accused several senior party leaders of not working for the party.

During her meeting with the party Chief Ministers, states’ in-charge and state unit chiefs, Sonia Gandhi had batted for preference in party posts to the workers responsible for the party’s victory in the Congress-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Punjab and Union Territory of Puducherry.

A party general secretary said after making appointments in the poll-bound states, Sonia Gandhi is now focusing on Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where infighting among the top leaders is clearly visible.

“In a bid to end infighting in the Madhya Pradesh, where the party has a thin majority with the support of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and independent MLAs, she has held meeting with Chief Minister Kamal Nath thrice in last three weeks, the latest being on September 13 during the meeting of all party Chief Ministers, states’ in-charge and state unit chiefs.

“Before the Chief Ministers’ meeting, Sonia Gandhi conveyed to Kamal Nath her unhappiness over the infighting and asked state in-charge Deepak Babaria to submit report on the same,” he said.

The Congress leader said Scindia, whose faction has openly demanded his appointment as the state unit chief, is also likely to meet Sonia Gandhi to discuss the leadership issue in the state.

The verbal war between the Scindia faction and the rest had snowballed into a major crisis in the state.

Meanwhile in Rajasthan, fissures in the state unit have came out openly with Pilot openly criticising Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over the issue of delay in forming a SIT over the death of Pehlu Khan after it came to power in the state and even poor law and order situation.

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Sonia Gandhi remains Congress Parliamentary Party leader

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will continue as the Congress Parliamentary Party leader as the newly elected members of the party in Lok Sabha once again elected her as the leader of the CPP during their first meeting on Saturday here.

Gandhi won the Rae Bareli seat from Uttar Pradesh by defeating the BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh by over 1.67 lakh votes.

“Sonia Gandhi elected as the leader of Congress Parliamentary Party! She says, ‘we thank the 12.13 crore voters for reposing faith in the Congress Party’,” tweeted Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The CPP met here at the central hall of Parliament, amid continuing upheaval in the party as current President Rahul Gandhi insists on stepping down following a mammoth debacle faced by the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sonia Gandhi was party president till 2017 for 19 long years before passing the baton to son Rahul Gandhi.

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Exit polls change equations among Congress allies?

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Sonia Gandhi extended invitations to non-NDA leaders for a meeting in Delhi on counting day on May 23. There was a good response to this from most leaders. Now the scene has changed to some extent because of exit polls. Some leaders are having second thoughts on the wisdom of attending this meeting. Almost all exit polls have predicted outright victory for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre.

BSP Supremo Mayawati is already indicating that she will agree for any meeting of anti-Modi leaders only after the poll results come out. Her decisions will have an impact on Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav. Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is also unpredictable in this respect as she is the major contender for prime minister post.
On his part, Rahul Gandhi is dismissing exit polls as just another master plan to convince people that Modi is winning again and later to manipulate EVMs to BJP advantage. He is of the opinion that NDA will not cross 200 MP seats this time, which will leave ample scope for UPA and like minded parties to form the coalition government at the Centre. Meanwhile, Chandrababu Naidu is uniting opposition leaders to take the fight against Modi to a logical conclusion by preventing split among anti-BJP leaders.

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Will Jagan respond to Sonia Gandhi’s invitation?

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Political circles are full of speculation over YCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy’s moves on the day of election results. Will he continue to support BJP? Or will he change his plan to support a Congress-led UPA if it has more chances? Jagan’s regional ally and Federal Front founder K Chandrasekhara Rao is moving closer to the Congress these days. Will this have an impact on Jagan’s preferences?

Amid all this, analysts are expressing doubts whether Jagan will respond positively to Sonia Gandhi’s invitation to attend the meeting of UPA and its allies in Delhi on May 23 counting day. In all likelihood, Jagan is expected to remain loyal to the BJP amid reports that he has full confidence on the victory of Modi-Shah duo.

Jagan has strong dislike for Congress ever since his plea was not accepted for making the chief minister of AP after YSR’s untimely death. There is an ever increasing distance between the two. Despite this, Sonia sent her invitation. Reports say Jagan has almost decided to ignore invitation.

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Congress, TDP and allies to meet President Kovind

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National leaders of over 14 anti-BJP parties led by Congress met in the Parliament Annexe Hall and decided to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, AICC President Rahul Gandhi, former PMs Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda, West Bengal CM Mamata Bennerjee, AP CM Chandrababu Naidu, NCP President Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechuri and Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy were present in the meeting.

The meeting was planned by Naidu to prove it as a show of strength and unity among the anti-BJP parties. Moreover, the counting for elections is to be held tomorrow. Speaking to the media, Rahul and Naidu said their parties would unitedly counter the BJP and work to oust the Modi government.

They said they would unitedly wage a struggle against the corruption, demonetisation and Rafale scam of the BJP government in the coming days. They asserted the Modi government has crippled democratic and national institutions like the CBI, the RBI and so on for settling its political scores.

The game plan of these parties is to preempt any move on the part of BJP to take advantage of hung assemblies in any of the five states. It is a rare political situation in Telangana if the state sees TRS emerging as single largest but People’s Front has majority.

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Sonia to visit Telangana again!

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The chief of UPA Ms. Sonia Gandhi, who took part in a public meeting organised at Medchal in Telangana in connection with election campaign, is planning to visit Telangana once again in next week.

Sources from the All India Congress Committee told ‘Telugu 360’ she will take part in a road-show in Parigi anc Chevella on November 29 at 4pm. “The schedule is yet to be confirmed. As per the preliminary decision of the UPA chief, the AICC chief Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Congress Affairs’ Incharge Mr. R.C. Kuntiya, state leaders Mr. Bose Raju, Mr. Srinivas, Mr. Saleem Mohd., TPCC Chief Mr. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, other leaders including Mr. Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu, Mr. Mohd. Ali Shabbir, Mr. K. Jana Reddy, Mr. A. Revanth Reddy, Mr. Ponnam Prabhakar, Ms. D.K. Aruna, Ms. Vijaya Shanthi and others will take part in the road-show,” they added.

They said that few leaders including ex-Minister and an ex-MLA from Parigi are planning to join TRS on Sunday in the presence of CM K.C.R. in connection a public meeting scheduled to be organised at Parigi. “In order to prevent the cadre from joining in other parties, the congress high command is seriously working in convincing the rebels and disappointed leaders. Though few leaders may join TRS on Sunday, they must come back after Sonia’s road-show,” the sources added.

G.Ravikiran

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Sonia spoke CBN’s words in Telangana, says TRS MP Kavitha

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The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders have hit back strongly at Sonia Gandhi, saying that she had angered people by talking about Andhra issues from a Telangana election platform. TRS MP and KCR daughter Kavitha has taken strong objection to the promises that were made by Sonia Gandhi to AP while addressing the election meeting at Medchal. She appealed to the voters to reject the Congress as Sonia used the Telangana soil to insult its people by taking up issues of rival state.

During her speech, Sonia Gandhi asserted that Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi worked hard to confer statehood on Telangana but the state’s people were suffering all these four and half years because of misgovernance of the TRS. She said Andhra would be given special category status besides fulfilling other promises after the Congress comes back to power at the Centre in 2019. Kavitha accused Congress of telling lies to mislead the people at the time of elections.

Kavitha said that Sonia Gandhi only spoke the words of TDP chief and AP CM Chandrababu Naidu and both the parties joined together in an unholy alliance which would be defeated by TRS in December elections. She asserted the fact that TRS would not have to tell lies and this party would only talk about the issues and rights of Telangana state and its development.

The TRS party’s attack came amid new found upbeat mood in Mahakutami allies after the success of Sonia Gandhi’s public meeting. The forum was effectively used by leaders of TDP, Telangana Jana Samithi and CPI to voice their strong feelings against KCR and his family. TDP leader Ramana and TJS leader Kodandaram have given a call to the people to get rid of KCR regime in December election.

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‘Mother of Telangana’ Sonia says Congress paid price for creating new state

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United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday said the Congress carved out Telangana state, though it had to pay a political price for it.

On first visit to Telangana after it came into being as a separate state in 2014, the former Congress president said it accorded statehood though it had to pay a price for this.

She was apparently referring to the drubbing Congress faced in Andhra Pradesh in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2014.

Sonia Gandi was addressing a massive public meeting at Medchal near Hyderabad to formally kick off the campaign of People’s Front headed by the Congress for the next month’s elections to Telangana Assembly.

Gandhi projected herself as the ‘mother of Telangana’ by stating that she is feeling happy to be in Telangana in the same manner as a mother would feel happy to see her child after many days.

“Every mother wants to see her children prosper, but I am pained to see the condition of the new state,” she said castigating the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for failing to fulfill the promises at the time of formation of their state.

“You know if a newborn is not properly taken care of in the initial years, he has to face many problems in future. Unfortunately, the responsibility of looking after the child was entrusted to those who only looked after themselves and left the child to fend for itself,” said Sonia Gandhi.

Stating that elections are an opportunity for people to get rid of this difficult situation, she appealed to people to use the power of vote to teach TRS a lesson and bring Congress and its allies to power with a huge majority.

Leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI) shared the dais with Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi said the TRS rule was about to come to an end. Without naming TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, the Congress president said during last five years, one person ran the state at his whims and fancies for the benefit of his family.

Rahul Gandhi assured the people that the alliance would fulfill their dreams which Chandrashekhar Rao failed to do.

Former Maoist ideologue and revolutionary balladeer Gaddar, Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) leader Manda Krishna Madiga and leaders of various other groups felicitated Sonia Gandhi.

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Sonia Gandhi to visit key segments of TS in just two days

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The Chief of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Ms. Sonia Gandhi would visit key segments in Telangana State in just two days and her schedule is officially confirmed on 22 and 23 of this month.

The congress leaders said that the campaign of Sonia would change the expectation and estimations of other parties and would lead to the victory of Congress as well as Mahakutami candidates whose graph is poor as per the surveys. “In Karnataka elections too, she held campaign on behalf of ex-Minister M.B.Patil and her tour was scheduled suddenly at that time as Mr. Patil was about to lose the election and the campaign of Sonia changed the mind-set of voters though the Prime Minister Narendra Modi held three road-shows on the same day,” they said.

Sources from the party said that the UPA chief would visit North, South and Central Telangana in just two days and would cover key assembly segments. “She will take part in three public meetings where we are expecting the gathering about 3-5 lakh public. She is suffering from some health issues and she must reach the three places by road. So that, the TPCC is planning for two-day trip of the supremo of the UPA,” the sources added.

Meanwhile Ms. Gandhi will take part in few road shows along with TPCC chief Mr. Uttam Kumar Reddy and other party seniors.

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Mamata, KCR, CBN called and advised Sonia Gandhi yesterday

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BJP emerged as the single largest party, bagging 104 seats in Karnataka elections 2018 While congress got 78 and JDS got 38. So every one thought BJP, as single largest party will get call from governor and they will seek time from Governor to prove the majority. But governor will call the single largest party only after Election Commission has announced the final tally. Here comes a blow to Amit Shah from Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi as Sonia led Congress party made swift moves and sought governors appointment even before the final Tally was announced by EC.

It has shocked Yeddyurappa as well as the BJP party chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The move to stake claim before the final numbers were announced was prompted by three telephone calls from three serving chief ministers to Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The chief ministers of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, Telangana, K.C.Rao and Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu called Sonia yesterday and advised her to move before the BJP closed the deal with the Governor and so Sonia and her Congress Party attempted to close the deal with governor even before final numbers are announced by Election Commission.

Only because of this decision to approach Governor even before election commission announced the final numbers, Congress is ahead of BJP in the game now and stalemate happened. Had Congress waited for couple of hours until Election Commission announced final numbers, BJP would have got the call from Governor by now and Yeddyurappa might have been announced as CM by now. Probably the three musketeers saved Congress for now.

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Sonia Gandhi discharged from hospital; advised rest

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Congress President Sonia Gandhi was on Saturday discharged from the city’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a day after she was admitted for an upset stomach, said hospital authorities.

“Madam Gandhi has recovered from the upset stomach. Her condition at the time of discharge was stable and she has been advised rest,” said D.S. Rana, Chairman, (Board of Management) SGRH.

Gandhi left the hospital at 4 p.m.

The Congress chief was in Shimla when she complained of an upset stomach. She was brought to Delhi and admitted to SGRH on Friday.

Gandhi had been admitted to SGRH earlier for a shoulder injury and respiratory related problems.

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Sonia Gandhi admitted to hospital

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Congress President Sonia Gandhi (70 year old) was on Friday admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

As per the hospital management – “Sonia Gandhi was brought to the hospital at 5 PM on Friday. She has been found to be suffering from stomach upset and has been admitted for observation.” Sonia was on a visit to Shimla for a vacation, but was immediately rushed back to the hospital in an air-ambulance, according to the reports. A team of doctors from the hospital was deputed to bring her back from Shimla.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Ma was in Shimla and caught a stomach bug so we got her back. Nothing to worry, she’s much better. Thanks for the tremendous love and concern.”

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T-Cong stages dharna against National Herald case

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Congress workers from Hyderabad old city on Saturday held a demonstration near historic Charminar protesting against what they said the NDA government’s vindictive attitude towards AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi in National Herald case.

Party general secretary G Niranjan, who led the demonstration, said National Herald was a newspaper which served the cause of Indian Independence and there was nothing wrong in Sonia Gandhi assisting the trust running the paper to continue its publication. He said Sonia and Rahul did’t have any ulterior motive in investing Rs 90 crore in National Herald paper, he said. ” But it is unfortunate that BJP led NDA government wants to exploit the case, filed with bad motive, to settle political scores with the family of Sonia Gandhi,” Niranjan said.

Besides Niranjan, TPCC secretaries Rajaratnam, Allam Bhaskar, Mamidi Gopi, B Venkatesh Mudiraj, K Venkatesh, G Kanhayalal, Krishna Kumar, Md Moosa, Parvatala Rajender, SP Kranthi, P Rajesh etc participated in the program.

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Delhi HC Blow to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi

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Blow to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. Delhi High Court rejects their plea from personal appearance or to stay the summons of a trail court before which Sonia and Rahul will have to appear in connection with National Herald case.

Rank and file in the Congress party are remind tightlipped following the Delhi High Court rejecting a plea of the party President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. Both the Congress president and her son had challenged the summons issued them ordering their personal appearance in connection with the National Herald case by a trail court.

In a one liner, Justice Sunil Gaur said the “petitions are dismissed”, in his judgment. The judge has also refused another plea of the counsel appearing for the accused seeking exemption from their personal appearance before the trial court. Sonia and Rahul, along with five others – Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd – were summoned by a trial court in connection with allegations of cheating and misappropriation of funds to acquire the property of the now defunct daily newspaper National Herald. Now the five accused will have to appear before the trail court where the case will come up. The Delhi High Court had issued interim order on August 6, 2014 staying the summons by the trail court, until their petition is disposed off by the High Court.

Dismissing the pleas, Justice Sunil Gaur said “No” to the pleas of the counsel and senior advocate Harin Raval, saying that either an exemption from personal appearance be granted , or the August 6, 2014 interim order staying summons be extended, the judge said.
The petition against the accused has been filed by former Union Law Minister and BJP’s firebrand leader Dr Subramanian Swamy.

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Sonia’s term as AICC president extended

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Today, amid speculation that Congress president Sonia Gandhi would step down and Rahul Gandhi would be anointed as AICC president, Congress Working Committee extended her term by one year. The Congress is in celebratory mood over its success in the rolling back of the controversial Land Acquisiton bill by Modi’s NDA government.The following is the text of her speech in CWC meeting held at 10, Jan Path, New Delhi.

Dr. Manmohan Singh ji,
Rahul ji,
Colleagues and Friends,

I welcome you to this meeting of the Congress Working Committee. We last convened barely two weeks after the Modi Government had first promulgated its draconian Land Ordinance. For reasons best known to it, the Modi-Government chose to disregard the will of Parliament and displayed an inexplicable hurry to snatch lands from our farmers.

Thanks to our Party’s sustained campaign, the government has been compelled to withdraw its anti-farmer amendments. The credit for this goes to every worker of the Congress Party, who under Rahul’s active guidance, carried out a sustained agitation. I should make a mention of all like- minded political parties and all members of civil society who joined hands with us in this fight. It goes without saying that lakhs of farmers across the country tirelessly demonstrated and agitated against this Ordinance. Even today they are under great distress because of excess rain or drought conditions, yet no adequate relief has reached them thanks to the Modi-government’s insensitivity to their plight.

Similar campaigns will now need to be mounted against the assault on tribal welfare,onwomen and child welfare, on labour laws, on laws that protect the environment and forests, on RTI and on our flagship initiatives MGNREGA which are being systematically undermined.

The U-turn on the Land Ordinance is evidence that the government is out of touch with ground realities. It has become painfully clear that most of the pledges made by the Prime Minister during his election campaign were nothing more thanhawa baazi. The Modi Government has failed abysmally to match words with deeds, to match media events with actual accomplishments, to match headlines with substance. The economy is on a downward slide while prices continue on their unrelenting rise. As for promises such as the creation of jobs or slogans such as Make in India, the less said about them the better. The autonomy and integrity of vital institutionswhich have stood the country in good stead are being systematically eroded. Writers and progressive thinkers are being physically eliminated. The media is being threatened with notices and other repressive measures. History is sought to be rewritten with special targetting of Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of modern India and builder of democratic institutions.

This should hardly come as a surprise to us. The country last week was given clear evidence of what has been obvious for a long time—that the Modi government is controlled and directed by the RSS, whose agenda is well known to all of us. The security situation in our neighbourhood has deteriorated considerably. Our jawans and civilians are being increasingly targeted. Instead of a coherent policy on Pakistan , this government can’t seem to make up its mind on what it should do. From aggressively mocking Dr. Manmohan Singh and his policy during the election campaign, the Prime Minister has been reduced to unedifying flip-flops casting doubts on what he really stands for.

The Congress party has always been and will be accountable to party workers and to the people of India. And today we have gathered to deliberate on another important agenda. Our priority must be to strengthen our existing support base and actively reach out and win the confidence of new constituents.

To successfully implement these initiatives we will need to bolster organisational institutions right from the grassroots level. The party unit which is closest to the people, the Block Committees and Booth Committees, must be sufficiently empowered. As we are embarking on registering new members, we have to ensure that our internal processes and systems are sufficiently robust to recognize, reward and nurture talent. A transparent mechanism to recognize and reward hard working and performing workers should be institutionalized. As a party we have always championed the rights of the marginalized sections of society such as women, adivasis, dalits, minorities and OBCs. It is onlythrough affirmative action that we will guarantee greater say in the working of our party to these sections of society.

The proposed amendments to our Constitution, which have been circulated to you, were first presented to this committee on 13th January 2015. They were a result of extensive deliberations guided by the Vice President. I believe these proposals reflect the opinion of a large number of party workers and are built upon our continued commitment to inclusion and empowerment. These amendments will require some time to be implemented, but once done they shall go a long way in making our party institutions truly responsive and equip it to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Let us now proceed with the Agenda.

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Sonia Expresses Shock over Stampede

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Congress president smt.Sonia Gandhi expressed shock over human loss in the stampede at Rajahmundry Pushkar Ghat this morning. She inquired about the situation over phone with  APCC president Raghuveera Reddy , former minister Chiranjeevi and Opposition leader in Legislative Council C.Ramachandraiah. She directed the congress cadre to involve in relief activities. She expressed her heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

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