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- Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress president
After years of waiting, Rahul coronation seems in sight
After years and years of waiting, now the day seems to be finally in sight when Rahul Gandhi will be handed over the reins of the Congress. This is almost certain that the Gandhi scion will be elected as the Congress president unopposed. Sources in the party say that the Congress will hold its session on November 19 on Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary, and on that occasion, the AICC members from all over the country will ratify Rahul’s name for the top post of the grand old party.
In-charge of organisational election in the Congress, M Ramchandran, has already prepared a schedule and according to that, the nomination process will start on October 10 and the process will end on October 25. Before October 10, the Congress committees will be constituted in all States. This must be noted that the PCC members constitute the Electoral College for the Congress president and it is only the PCC which proposes the name of the party president.
Many say that this was the reason why Ashok Chaudhary was removed in Bihar and Kaukab Quadri was made the executive president. In fact, there was apprehension that under the leadership of Chaudhary, the Bihar PCC might cause problems. So, the step was taken to ensure zero opposition for Rahul. Now, this is almost certain that no other proposal will come forward from any of the committees. No leader in the Congress can pose a challenge for Rahul. So, only Rahul will file the nomination for the party president post.
Gujarat and Himachal will see the first elections under Rahul’s leadership, and after that, byelections for six Lok Sabha seats will be held. The Congress leaders are hopeful that the results of these elections will consolidate the leadership of Rahul. It is being said that Sonia Gandhi will continue to be in active politics even after Rahul is elevated to the top post. She will remain a member of the CWC and chairman of the Parliamentary board. It is also being said that Priyanka Vadra will not take any charge right now. If she has to become active in politics, she will start from the Lok Sabha Elections.
There have only been a few instances when vice-presidents have been appointed at the AICC. At present, Rahul is the party vice-president, and Arjun Singh had held the same post at one point. The ongoing speculation in the Congress is that when Rahul takes charge, two deputies will assist him. Members of team Rahul are denying that there will be any vice-president, and argue that if this happens, then Rahul’s profile will weaken and new power centres will be created.
However, sources say that some time ago, it was being debated that two senior leaders should be appointed as vice-presidents when Rahul assumes charge. The names of Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chidambaram were also discussed. The two leaders have got a lot of importance in the Congress politics in the past few months. Not only this, these names have their own symbolic importance. The Congress is trying to strengthen its base in South India. Whenever the party has got a jolt from the north, the south has rescued it. Keeping this in mind, Chidambaram could be useful.
In the same manner, Ghulam Nabi Azad could hold a sway over the minority vote bank. There will a message right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari on his name. He is the general secretary of the party and a confidant of both Sonia and Rahul. That is why these two names have been discussed for vice-president posts. If the party doesn’t appoint them as vice-presidents, then they will be working as senior general secretaries. Chidambaram is a senior spokesperson as well. Apart from this, they don’t have any work. Probably, Chidu will get some work after Rahul’s elevation. This must be noted that following his policy to promote the youth brigade, Rahul is appointing secretaries and co-incharges to leaders who are younger than 50 years, but for general secretaries, he still has faith on senior leaders.
NITISH WOOS WOMEN VOTERS
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is trying his best to woo female voters, and has in his kitty cards other than just development and sushasan (good governance). For the past several months, he has not been making any claims over these two ideals. He is not talking about roads, electricity, law and order, and is rather raising the issue of social reforms in a bid to form an emotional connect with people.
Recently, he said, “What will happen to the party and his mission of liquor ban if he dies?” Soon after, he had two more social agendas along with liquor ban — he started a campaign for full prohibition against dowry system and child marriage. He made people of the State take an oath for complete boycott of dowry and to stop child marriage. Liquor prohibition, dowry ban, and child marriage prohibition — all these issues are related to women empowerment. This must be noted that in his very first stint, Nitish had identified women as a separate vote bank and started working on that. He gave 50 per cent reservation to women in local bodies, started new dress scheme for girls, gave cycles to girl students, and started many other schemes for them.
The women of Bihar also benefitted when the law and order situation in the State improved. In 2010, when Nitish was fighting for the second term, he reaped the benefits of these initiatives. At that time, the voting percentage of women increased and Nitish got more votes from women. In 2015, he promised liquor prohibition and won for the third term. He has fulfilled his promises and women voters are happy with his consistency.
NITISH VS MANJHI IN BIHAR?
Did Nitish come in the way of Jitan Ram Manjhi’s elevation to the Governor’s post in the State? While the JDU leaders refute this, some say he was indeed the biggest hurdle in the path of the Hindustani Awam Morcha chief. The moment Nitish joined the NDA, Manjhi’s problems seem to have gone up. That is why it is being said that Manjhi and leaders of his party are trying to follow a separate path. Sources say when Manjhi had joined the NDA in 2015, just before the Assembly Elections, it was decided that the BJP would give him a respected post. Leaders of his party claim that Manjhi had a choice right from the Rajya Sabha membership to a stint with the Central Government, though the BJP leaders deny this claim. In the 2015 elections, the NDA was defeated and Manjhi won only one seat. After that it was being said that he would be given the gubernatorial post. Nitish is also trying to make his equation right with the Mahadalits, and that’s why he didn’t allow Manjhi’s elevation to the Governor post, claim some. Now all eyes are on Manjhi’s next move.
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STATE EDITIONSView All
17 Dec 2017 | PNS | Dehradun
The universities need to take a fresh look at their curricula as well as pedagogy while promoting research works, suggested the Governor Krishan Kant Paul while addressing scholars and faculty members during the convocation ceremony of the DIT University here on Saturday. Terming the universities as ‘gloried colleges’ in absence of any research activity, he said that excellence and quality are a must for education...