69% Indians want Ram Mandir at Ayodhya: India Today Survey

Image Courtesy: Patrika.com

A survey done by India Today over the issue of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya shows that around 69% people of India want construction of Ram Mandir at the disputed site at Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya. The results of the survey are based on responses received from 13,000 people.

The survey shows that the Ram Mandir issue of Ayodhya is at the heart of the upcoming general elections. Besides the 69% figure, the survey also showcases that about 67% of the respondents want the PM Modi-led government to bring an ordinance over the issue and not wait for the decision of the Supreme Court. While 24% of the respondents answered in negative and the remaining 2%, did not put any view.

Various Hindu groups and parties have been pressurizing PM Modi to bring an ordinance to start construction of the mandir, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly delayed the verdict.

Prime Minister Modi in an interview to the news agency ANI, at the beginning of this year,  said that the decision on an ordinance on the Ram temple will only be considered after the judicial procedure is concluded. He added that the judicial procedure for the temple is being stalled in the Supreme Court since Congress lawyers are ‘slowing down the process’.

In the India Today survey, when respondents were asked question about the decision of Supreme Court, 58% people said that SC’s decision should be awaited over the issue, and there is no need of an ordinance, while 30% said otherwise, and 12% did not respond.

OpIndia, in December last year, had surveyed the Ayodhya region to ascertain about the people’s wish regarding the construction of mandor. We had found that the residents of Ayodhya overwhelmingly support the construction of the Ram Mandir. While they want other facilities such as hospitals and playgrounds to be built at Ayodhya, they are of the opinion all of it can proceed simultaneously with the temple construction.

“A Ram Mandir did exist there, the Babri Masjid was constructed after demolishing the Temple. And a Ram Mandir definitely should be built there.” One person had told Opindia, “Not 100%, the Ram Mandir should be constructed 110%.” The person had added.

Leading job website, ‘Naukri’, releases survey of recruiters, predicts 20% increase in hiring between January and June 2019

Naukri.com predicts robust hiring: 20% growth in hiring between January and June 2019

Naukri.com, one of India’s premier job portals, has published the findings of its Hiring Outlook survey which depicts a very bright scenario for employment opportunities in the country between January to June 2019.

The report states, “The survey represents a very optimistic outlook for hiring in the
coming six months. The survey saw participation from 3310 recruiters across the country. 84% recruiters surveyed are anticipating an increased hiring activity which observes a 20% increase in comparison to last year.”

The report also quotes Sumeet Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, InfoEdge India Ltd., as saying, “The Hiring Outlook highlights positive hiring sentiment among the recruiter
community with both replacement hiring and new jobs creation taking place simultaneously in the first half of the year. Key industries have continued to show growth. The same has been demonstrated by the Naukri JobSpeak. The momentum gained for recruitment is likely to continue into the new year.”

The survey states that 56% of the recruiters are expecting both new job creation and replacement hiring. It says, “In the first half of the year, growth coming from both new job creation and replacement hiring are being anticipated by 56% of the recruiters while another 12% of the recruiters surveyed said only replacement hiring will take place. The industries that might drive this wave of optimism are IT, BFSI and BPO.”

Almost half of the recruiters surveyed expect recruitment to be highest in Sales & Marketing followed by IT-Software functional areas. One-fourth of the recruiters also remarked that hiring will be high in Operations, HR and Account domains. The optimism in employment opportunities is further emphasized by the fact that only 1% of the recruiters surveyed expect layoffs.

Interestingly, there’s some concern among the recruiter community about the availability of adequate talent. The report states, “42% recruiters predict that the issue of talent crunch could intensify in the next six months. Another 31% of the recruiters said that the although talent crunch will continue, the intensity would be the same as the last six months. The maximum talent crunch is expected to be in the experienced band of 3-5 years.”

On the issue of increment, one-third of the recruiters surveyed believed that increments would be anywhere between 10-15%, 15% of the recruiters expected it to be between 15-20% while 16% reported that increments would be above 20%.

Regarding the rate of attrition, that is, the rate at which employees left the organizations they worked in, the report states, “14% of the recruiters had predicted attrition between 20% – 40% in the last Hiring Outlook Survey., this has halved to 7% in the current Outlook. 50% of the recruiters surveyed maintain attrition between 5% – 15%. For those who forecasted attrition, they suggested that maximum impact would be seen in the entry-level band of 1-3 years. Recruiters foresee functional areas such as – Sales & Marketing and IT Software to have a higher rate of attrition.”

Thus, contrary to the clamour raised by Opposition Parties, employment opportunities look quite optimistic for the next 6 months. The conclusion from the Naukri.com survey is that if a person has the required talent, his chances of getting hired are much higher now than it was earlier.

Kerala Nun rape case: Missionaries of Jesus issues ultimatum to another nun to shed her ‘rebellious attitude’

Kerala nuns protesting against Bishop Franco

Amidst attempts of the Christian congregation, Missionaries of Jesus to shunt out four nuns for supporting the victim nun who had accused Bishop Franco of rape, another nun has been issued a notice to shed her “rebellious attitude”, reported Indian Express.

Reportedly, Sister Neena Rose, who had actively taken part in the protest in Kochi last September demanding the arrest of rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the rape case has been issued a letter to appear before the congregation.

Regina Kadamthodu, the congregation’s superior-general, has asked Sister Rose to report at their headquarters in Jalandhar on 26 January to justify her case for “for abdicating the basic tenets of religious life and resorting to activities which amount to the sheer violation of congregation rules.”

The letter further added that failure to report before Regina Kadamthodu on 26 January would be construed as challenging the authority of the superior. The letter from the superior-general reportedly accused Sister Rose of not cooperating with her local convent head and for her “revolutionary approach”. It further says the nun’s refusal to “fall in line” raises severe questions about her commitment to the vow of obedience.

Sister Rose has, meanwhile, said she is not sure about going to meet the superior- general on 26 January. “They have threatened to take further action if I fail to report in Jalandhar,” she said.

On 16th  January, four out of the five nuns who had supported the rape survivor nun were asked to leave the Kuravilangad convent, and go to convents, previously assigned to them. The letter accused nuns of  ‘issuing malafide statements’, and spreading baseless stories to ‘tarnish the image’ of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation. Sister Anupama, one of the four nuns served transfer notice, had slammed the notice and alleged that this is a ploy to break a unity of nuns to save Bishop Franco, who is facing rape allegations from one of their colleagues.

Apart from threats and intimidation, Father Kuriakose who had testified against Bishop Franco was found dead under mysterious circumstances. One the nuns who were protesting against the rape accused Bishop was relieved of her duties by the Syro-Malabar Church.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested by the police officials on September 21st after the investigating team finally found evidence that linked him in the sexual harassment case. A nun from Kerala had accused a Bishop from Jalandhar of raping her. The accused, Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, is said to have raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and exploited her sexually on several other occasions.

Maharashtra ATS nabs another ISIS group: With no ‘sutli bombs’ in play this time, this is how the Leftists might react

Representational Image, courtesy: indiatvnews

The Maharashtra ATS has nabbed a group with alleged links to ISIS. Raiding multiple locations in Mumbra, Thane and Aurangabad, the ATS today arrested 9 persons, including a 17-year-old.

As per reports, the arrested persons are named as Salman Khan, Fahad Khan, Zaman Kutepadi, Mohseen Khan, Mohammad Mazhar Sheikh, Taki Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Zahid Sheikh and the juvenile.

The ATS has reportedly recovered Chemicals, mobile phones, hard drives, SIM cards, acid bottles, sharp knives etc.

Recently, the NIA had busted an ISIS module in Amroha, Several individuals including a Maulvi and college students were arrested while the probe team had confiscated items such as bomb-making material or IEDs, country-made pistols, 150 rounds of ammunition, 112 alarm clocks, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards and lakhs in cash. An improvised rocket launcher was also reportedly recovered.

Quick as lightning, the entire Indian mainstream media and the left-liberal cabal had jumped to dismiss the findings and had launched a tirade of attacks on the NIA. Here are some gems:

There are certain laws in liberal outrage. Bomb-making chemicals and ammunition can be totally innocuous when the persons arrested with them are Muslims. On the other hand, children throwing colours on each other on Holi and RSS cadre holding lathis can be termed as Hindu terrorists.

Many media portals published report after report on how poor the family members of the suspected terror module members are, how random passersby in Amroha did not think the Maulvi was a terrorist and how the idea of ISIS supporters stocking pistols, ammunition and IEDs meant nothing because they also stocked sutli bombs.

Also read: Dear journalists, in your hate for Modi and Doval, don’t become terror apologists. Read about IEDs first

In a country where liberals keep on claiming that the 20% Muslim population is in a perpetually intimidated state and they fear for the future of democracy, the arrest of ISIS sympathisers and raids that seize weapons and incriminating materials somehow triggers a spectacular chain reaction. Everything, from the father’s profession to the road conditions in the village, everything but the obvious.

In the Amroha arrests, media outlets even claimed the improvised rocket launcher seized was actually a rang of things from a hydraulic jack to a tractor part.

Now that the recent haul by the Maharashtra ATS does not even involve sutli bombs and desi pistols, one would expect that the Leftists would be thrown off their game a little. Be that as it may, we can only guess how the left liberals are going to react over the arrest of the 9 suspects.

  • Chemicals and powder, is that what ATS wants us to be scared of? They are unemployed youth trying to be talcum powder entrepreneurs.
  • Modi government failed to provide jobs for Muslims. And now stealing stuff from poor youth who was attempting to earn a living by selling SIM cards and mobiles.
  • The poor family that never got a grant to build a toilet under Swachh Bharat Mission, is now staring at its filthy toilet because the bottles of acid their sons have gathered to clean it have been stolen by ATS.
  • Modi government does not want Muslim young men to fall in love. Who does not have multiple SIM cards, in an era when SIM cards are being offered free of cost, 9 young men have been stripped of their chance to flirt with multiple girls after ATS grabbed their SIM cards.
  • The hard drives the young leaders possessed were scavenged from the backyard of the Goa CM’s residence. They contained details of the Rafale deal. Hence Doval had ordered the ATS to seize them.
  • After making movies full of Toxic nationality like Uri, the Modi government now wants to stop Muslim young men from becoming successful actors, Salman, Fahad, Zahid and Sarfaraz have been arrested.
  • As unemployed Hindus go in Kanwar yatras and waste public resources in the Kumbh Mela, a few enterprising young men seeking spiritual enlightenment from a foreign organisation are being hounded and arrested. Is this Achhe Din?

The same left liberals also scream Hindu Terror everytime an incident is even remotely linked to an individual with ties with a Hindu religious group. The left-liberal brain is a case study in ironies indeed.

As Priyanka Gandhi Vadra becomes the UP East incharge, here is all you need to know about her colourful history

As we have reported earlier, Congress has appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East. It appears to be a shrewd move by the party to get its caste equations correct in the state and cut into the Upper Caste vote bank of the BJP.

However, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra have quite a colourful history which perhaps contributed to her delayed official entry into politics. In this article, we shall explore the myriad allegations that have been labelled against the husband-wife duo.

In April 2017, it was alleged that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had bought 5 acres of agricultural land in Amipur village in Faridabad district of Haryana for Rs 15 lakh in 2006 and later sold the same piece of land to the original owner in 2010 at a price of Rs. 80 lakh. The suspicious nature of the transaction came under the radar of the Dhingra Commission which was set up by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to look into deals involving her husband, Vadra.

In 2010, Priyanka’s summer holiday home in Charabbra village of Shimla came under the scanner. She was accused of building the house on land she had allegedly acquired illegally. We have reported on all the controversies surrounding the house in the report linked here.

In a further instance of impropriety, Priyanka was part of the selection process for the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, a state where her husband was facing a probe for a land deal. Vadra was recently summoned for the third time by the Enforcement Directorate in the Bikaner land deal money laundering case after he missed the first two.

Vadra’s history of land deals has been a giant stick at the hands of the BJP to beat the Congress with. Skylight Hospitality Private Limited, a real estate firm Vadra is associated with, is accused of fraudulently acquiring land in Bikaner which was meant for rehabilitation of poor villagers. It is alleged that Skylight had sold 69.55 hectares of land to Allegeny Finlease at ₹7.41 lakh per hectare, but it had purchased the land at the rate of ₹ 1 lakh per hectare. Mahesh Nagar, an authorised representative of several companies linked to Vadra, had bought and sold land on behalf of Skylight Hospitality.

Vadra was first issued summons by the ED in the first week of November followed by the second summons on 24th November, both of which he failed to appear in. On the 21st of January, we had reported that the Rajasthan High Court had directed Vadra and his mother to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the case.

In September 2015, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), alleging that Sky Light Hospitality, owned by Robert Vadra, had bought a piece of land in Kolayat, Bikaner, on the cheap and sold it at an extremely high premium through illegal transactions

In April 2018, the ED attached land belonging to Jaiprakash Bagarawa, who is believed to be a close aide of Vadra in connection with the Bikaner land scam. As per reports, the agency has the powers to seek judicial custodial interrogation if the accused is wilfully avoiding joining the investigation.

Skylight Hospitality has also been allegedly involved in similar transactions in Haryana and a probe was earlier recommended by the Justice SN Dhingra commission against Bhupinder Singh Hooda alleging that Hooda and some of his government officials have been involved in suspicious land deals with Skylight Hospitality. Skylight Hospitality is also under Income Tax scanner for alleged irregularities in financial transactions in their land deals in Rajasthan and Haryana.

Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitality is accused of buying a 3.5-acre plot in Shikohpur village near Manesar at a cost of Rs 7 crore and then selling it to DLF for Rs 58 crore. The previous Congress government in Haryana allegedly tweaked the rules to facilitate the illegal deal. Vadra is also accused of buying 31 properties in and around Delhi from DLF’s unsecured loans at prices that were much lower than the prevailing market rate.

It was also revealed that Skylight Hospitality was granted licenses on the basis that Vadra was a VIP and the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Priyanka’s husband Vadra has a host of other allegations against him as well. Recently, Manoj Arora, the executive assistant and alleged close-aid of Robert Vadra, was grilled by the ED for his alleged involvement in Robert Vadra’s benami properties in the UK.

On December 8, The ED had raided several premises related to Vadra and had questioned multiple persons connected to the case, which included Congress worker and another close aide of Robert Vadra, Jagdish Sharma. ED had stated that the raids were conducted on suspected individuals believed to have received money from arms dealers.

The money laundering case against Manoj Arora was initiated after investigative agencies began probing arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and confidential defence ministry documents were found in his possession. Following which, one email thread was found from Sanjay Bhandari’s computer, between Monoj Arora, Sanjay Bhandari and Robert Vadra. The email, according to ED, was regarding a London property worth Rs 1.9 million pounds. The source of funds for the plush property which was bought in 2009 is currently under investigation. It was allegedly bought by Vadra and it was Bhandari who funded it.

We also reported that Dassault had, in fact, refused to partner with Bhandari headed OIS due to his proximity to Vadra. In January last year, In January this year, he was declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ by a Delhi court under the Official Secrets Act, due to failure to attend before the court. He is also under CBI investigation for his links with to alleged malpractices in the selection of a Swiss aircraft, Pilatus PC-7. The defence ministry has since suspended all dealings with OIS.

The myriad of allegations against the husband-wife duo certainly delayed her official entry into politics. There have been some quarters within the Congress party which appear to prefer Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over Rahul Gandhi.

In 2016, Priyanka did a campaign for the party in Uttar Pradesh. But she hasn’t been received as well by the public as well as the party had hoped. In an amusing incidence in October, posters had come up at Sonia Gandhi’s constituency which accused Priyanka of being an emotional blackmailer. In February 2017, she was trolled by people on social media, a fate her brother has often suffered. She was also spotted with ‘neutral activist’ Gurmehar Kaur who has been perceived as someone who was milking her father’s sacrifice.

As Rahul Gandhi hasn’t really been a hit with the masses, the Congress party is certainly pinning their hopes on Priyanka. However, given her history and her husband’s, it’s unclear how the public will receive her. In fact, the induction of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would probably give the BJP another poll plank served to them on a silver platter. The BJP and especially Prime Minister Modi has often spoken about the Dynasty and how the Gandhi family tends to put the family name above meritocracy.

In Priyanka Vadra’s case as well, it is evident that her entry into politics is fuelled by her name and the fact that she resembles Indira Gandhi is her appearance and that the Congress party hopes that her Indira Gandhi look-alike feature would consolidate the Congress loyalist votes which had abandoned the party. With the myriad corruption allegations against Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband, the Congress seems to have taken a massive gamble and with the power of social media, it is unlikely that they will be able to whitewash the image of Priyanka and Robert being entrenched in corruption. How this move will pan out for the Congress party and how it is used by BJP to counter the Congress, remains to be seen.

State Bank of India moves to recover Rs 405 crore from fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi

Photo- News18

India’s largest bank State Bank of India has moved to recover defaulted loan amount of Rs 405 crore on diamantaire and fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi. The move has come days after Mehul Choksi surrendered his Indian citizenship and handed over his Indian passport in Antigua.

According to an Economic Times report, SBI had extended working capital loan to Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Bandra Kurla Complex, Gemplus Division at Andheri East, premises in Bharat Diamond Bourse, a property in Santacruz and a plot in Maheshwaram Mandal in Rangareddy district of Telangana. Against this, the group had pledged shares and also mortgaged properties.

Choksi is a guarantor of 12-defaulting accounts of companies like Decent Securities and Finance Ltd, Decent Investment and Finance Ltd, and Nashik Multi Services Ltd, located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and the Hyderabad Gems SEZ Ltd at Telangana.

The properties against which the loan was sanctioned are situated at Cumballa Hill, Bandra Kurla Complex, Andheri areas of Mumbai, Panvel, Raigad, Nashik, Hyderabad and Telangana belonging to Choski and his group of companies. They include residential and commercial complexes with multi-parking facilities.

SBI, in December last year, had served notice at the last known address of the group of companies. The notice was sent in accordance with section 13(2) of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets & Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002. The provision enables the creditor to serve a deadline of sixty days to defaulter party and exercise rights to recover the defaulted amount.

Earlier this month, Enforcement Directorate had issued a provisional order to attach his Thailand factory, worth Rs 13 crore.

Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the Indian financial sector was rocked by a startling revelation of fraud early last year following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB). Both Nirav Modi and Choksi are currently absconding. Mehul Choksi is reported to be residing in the Carribean country of Antigua, and taken citizenship of the country, with which India doesn’t have an extradition treaty.

In December last year, his advocates had given an assurance to the court that their client is fully cooperating with banks to settle the case. They also said that Choksi cannot travel to India due to his bad health.

Reports say Rahul Gandhi may contest from three seats in Lok Sabha elections, but is that possible?

Rahul Gandhi

On January 22nd, Times Now ran a story saying that Rahul Gandhi is unsure of winning his Amethi seat in upcoming Lok Sabha elections. And due to that, the Congress president is considering to contest from as many as three Lok Sabha constituencies. The report says that apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi may also contest from Nanded in Maharashtra and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath is current MP from Chhindwara, from which he will soon resign to get elected as an MLA to remain the CM of the state as per law.

Today Times of India and Republic also ran the story, quoting reports. Republic termed it as a big political scoop, despite the fact that it was reported by Times Now yesterday itself. The reports say that Nanded in Maharashtra is considered a safe seat for the Congress, and Rahul Gandhi contesting from there could also have spillover effect in other nearby constituencies in the Marathwada region. Similarly, Chhindwara in MP is also a Congress bastion.

But there is a big problem with the news of Rahul Gandhi contesting from three Lok Sabha seats in the coming elections, which is, the law does not permit it. As per the section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, no candidate can contest from more than 2 Parliamentary constituencies in an election. The same rule applies for Assembly elections too.

The section says:

33(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (6) or in any other provisions of this Act, a person shall not be nominated as a candidate for election. –

(a) in the case of a general election to the House of the People (whether or not held simultaneously from all Parliamentary constituencies), from more than two Parliamentary constituencies;

(b) in the case of a general election to the Legislative Assembly of a State (whether or not held simultaneously from all Assembly constituencies), from more than two Assembly constituencies in that State;

Therefore, according to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Rahul Gandhi cannot contest from three Parliamentary constituencies as the news reports are claiming.

In fact, there is a petition filed in the Supreme Court to amend the section 33(7) of the Act to limit the maximum number of seats a candidate can contest to one. The PIL was filed by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay in the year 2017. The Election Commission of India also supports this petition, and the Commission had told the court that it had already submitted proposals with the central government to make the amendment in the law. When one candidate contests from two seats and both seats are won by that candidate, the candidate has to resign from any one seat. This necessitates re-election to that constituency, which means EC and the administration has to spend a huge amount of money on conducting the extra poll. The ECI had also suggested an alternate solution that if the same candidate wins two seats, that candidate should be asked to bear the cost of byelection that would be required after that candidate vacates one seat.

Therefore, the reports that Rahul Gandhi is considering contesting from three seats can’t be true. If the Congress president is really worried about competition from Smriti Irani in Amethi, he will have to contest from another seat apart from Amethi.

Congress’ next big step as a vote cutter and to get caste equations right: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra appointed UP East incharge: Read why
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Congress President Rahul Gandhi

As the 2019 elections draw closer, Congress seems to be scampering to get its caste equations right, especially in Uttar Pradesh which is the largest state in terms of Lok Sabha seats. Congress has now appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East.

Putting the long-standing speculations to rest about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra entering politics in an official capacity, the appointment of Vadra cannot just be viewed from the prism of another member of the Dynasty entering politics.

Ahead of 2019, especially in Uttar Pradesh, we have already seen how Congress, BSP and SP are indulging in shadow boxing in order to get their caste equations right. We have reported earlier how SP and BSP have allied in Uttar Pradesh leaving Congress out and are creating an illusion of SP and BSP not getting along with Congress. However, in practice, the truth might be far from it. Congress is perhaps distancing itself from BSP and SP in Uttar Pradesh to the two regional parties are free to woo the Dalit, Muslim and Yadav votes while Congress, fighting alone, can woo the upper-caste Brahmin votes.

For the BSP, the core vote bank is the Dalit faction. For SP the core vote banks are the Yadavs and Muslims. An alliance with Congress whose President, Rahul Gandhi has been sporting a janeu lately could have proven to be electorally catastrophic. The shadow boxing would perhaps serve several purposes. The BSP could consolidate their Dalit votes while SP could consolidate Muslim and Yadav votes. In the meantime, Congress, with its pseudo temple hopping could attempt to pander to the upper caste votes thereby splitting the BJP’s vote share.

Now, with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being made the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, that theory seems to be taking shape in practical terms.

Now, in understanding with SP and BSP, it seems that Congress has appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Eastern UP in charge to woo upper caste voters and old loyalists of Congress who might have been disenchanted with Rahul Gandhi as the heir to the throne. The hope is obvious: old Congress loyalists would see Priyanka Gandhi in the likeliness of Indira Gandhi as would the upper caste Hindus who see Rahul Gandhi as an heir who has continually appeased the minorities.

This seems to be Congress’ attempt to act as a vote-cutter in Uttar Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi seems to be hoping that the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will ensure a percentage of the votes that went to BJP would accrue to Congress. The traditional BJP voters would not vote for Rahul Gandhi, however, Priyanka Gandhi could prove to be the perfect vote-cutter, or so Congress hopes.

Earlier as well, Shiela Dixit was all set to become the Chief Minister candidate and hence was used to woo the upper caste votes before Congress joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav, post which, Dixit was unceremoniously dumped. The Congress seems to have learnt its lesson now and fielding Priyanka Gandhi Vadra while pretending to distance itself from SP and BSP seems to be the perfect ploy.

Congress has been recently trying to woo the upper middle class and disenchant the strongest group that has traditionally supported BJP and Prime Minister Modi. Congress, in fact, much to everyone’s surprise also supported the 10% reservation bill for the poor introduced by the Modi government because presumably, they did not want to appear to be against Hindus other than the backward classes. Ahead of the recently concluded state elections, one recalls how Congress drummed up the rhetoric on SC-ST Act, forcing BJP’s hand and leading to the overturning of the Supreme Court’s verdict diluting the SC/ST Act. It is widely believed that this step contributed to BJP’s loss in the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Congress has also been abusing Modi using caste slurs and taking potshots at his humble background, presumably, assuming that this would get their brownie points with upper caste Hindus.

While these tactics may be morally or ethically questionable, whether they work electorally remains to be seen.

Priyanka Gandhi appointed as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East

Priyanka Gandhi

In a significant development, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the daughter of Sonia Gandhi, has been appointed as the AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East. The party made some new appointments in the party leadership today ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and Priyanka Gandhi’s name was the surprise inclusion in the notification issued by the party.

In a press released issued by General Secretary Ashok Gehlot, the party also appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West. Existing AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad will be now the General Secretary for Haryana.

The press release issued by the Congress party

It is interesting to note that while other General Secretaries are full-time politicians with long experiences in the field, Priyanka Gandhi is relatively outsider for politics. Apart from appearing with her mother and brother during election campaigns, she has not shown any regular participation in politics. Although she helped in the campaigns of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during elections, now she has a much bigger role as the General Secretary for East UP, a region much bigger than several states in the country.

Priyanka Gandhi getting a bigger role in the party was hinted when she was made part of the selection process of Chief Minister of Rajasthan last month after the Congress party won the assembly elections. According to reports, when CM candidates for the party Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot met party president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, Priyanka Gandhi was present at the meeting.

While Priyanka Gandhi will be busy in election-related work, her husband Robert Vadra will be busy with investigating agencies and courts, as he is facing investigations in several cases. A few days ago the Rajasthan High Court ordered him to appear before the ED, as he has been ignoring summons issued to him on the Bikaner land deal case.  He is also facing probe in a land deal in Gurugram. Vadra and his several associates are also being investigated for involvement defence deals and money laundering cases.

Appointment of two relatively young leaders for the most important state in Lok Sabha indicates a departure from the party’s strategy to depend on party veterans, which was seen in the selection of CMs for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh recently. It may be the beginning of Rahul Gandhi replacing old guard with new faces in the party.

Karnataka: Congress MLA JN Ganesh missing after assaulting MLA, injured MLA Anand Singh claims accused asked for a gun to kill him

J N Ganesh, Anand Singh in hospital

The drama surrounding the Karnataka Congress-JDS coalition may not end any time soon as the events have taken a turn around after Kampli MLA J N Ganesh who is accused of assaulting Congress MLA Anand Singh is absconding following an FIR against him, reported Deccan Herald.

According to the reports, the Ramanagar police have formed special teams to arrest Congress MLA Ganesh, who has gone missing after Anand Singh had lodged an FIR against JN Ganesh, for allegedly assaulting him. The shocking incident had occurred after a heated argument between two Congress MLAs from Bellary- Anand Singh and JN Ganesh turned violent and Anand Singh was injured after JN Ganesh hit him with a bottle.

Following the incident, Anand Singh was admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru for further treatment. Most of the senior Congress leaders including Deputy CM Parameshwar met Anand Singh in the hospital but refuted any claims of fighting between the two Congress leaders. The Congress had distanced itself from JN Ganesh and had suspended him from the party.

The police officials have said that after recording Anand Singh’s statement, they had registered an FIR and went to the resort (Eagleton) to arrest Ganesh but did not find Ganesh there. We recorded the statements of resort staffers. “We tried reaching Ganesh on his mobile phone, but it was switched off. We also tried to contact him through his close aides, but couldn’t,” said the police officials.

The Bidadi police had on Monday booked Ganesh under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons), 307 (attempt to murder), 504 (intentional insult to breach peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, Siddarth Singh, son of Anand Singh speaking to the media said that his father is yet to recover. He added that swelling in Anand Singh’s eye has not yet reduced and doctors will decide on surgery after swelling subsides.

The injured legislator Anand Singh in his statement has reportedly said that Kampli MLA JN Ganesh allegedly attempted to kill Hospet legislator Anand Singh and had asked for a revolver so that he could gun down him. “Ganesh hit me on my head with clubs and flower pots. He banged my head against the wall and kicked me in my stomach and face as I fell down,” said injured Hospet MLA.

On Friday, the Congress had moved 76 of its 80 lawmakers to the resort amid fears of poaching by the BJP. Four of the Congress MLAs did not make it to the Eagleton Resorts and also failed to attend the Congress legislature party meet on Friday. All the four MLAs have been sent a show-cause notice by the Congress party. Recently, two independent MLAs, H Nagesh and R Shankar had withdrawn their support from the Karnataka government.

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