Congress president Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination papers from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, the second constituency he is contesting apart from his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday morning.
Accompanied by his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress president got a rousing reception at the Kozhikode international airport on Wednesday night.
Police and special protection group personnel had a tough time keeping the crowd under check. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi finally left the airport through a special gate.
“The Congress chief will embark on a two-hour road show before filing the nomination papers at 11am,” state opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said.
Congress general secretaries KC Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik are camping in the district to oversee arrangements. Party leaders said Rahul Gandhi will visit Wayanad again once or twice for campaigning after filing his nomination papers, adding Priyanka will canvass in the constituency for a couple of days.
They said since Rahul Gandhi is busy campaigning in other parts of the country, leaders have advised him to not spend too much time in a relatively safer constituency.
According to party leaders, the Congress president’s entry has electrified the poll scene in the state.
Political pundits say Rahul Gandhi’s selection of Wayanad constituency, a strategically important trijunction in Kerala which shares borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, will help the Congress to consolidate its position in the south and pip the BJP’s possible advantage in north India.
In Wayanad, Gandhi is taking on Communist Party of India’s (CPI’s) PP Suneer and National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA’s) Thushar Vellapally. Vellappally is the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) president and his party has an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala.
The BJP is planning to rope in many national leaders for its campaign in the constituency. Top among them is Union minister Smriti Irani, Gandhi’s main rival in Amethi. Irani is likely to campaign for NDA’s Wayanad candidate Vellapally for two days, party leaders said.
Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha election 2019 from Wayanad in Kerala has angered the Communist Party of India(Marxist), which is on a sticky wicket ever since his arrival in the state.
Not impressed by Rahul Gandhi’s choice, Left parties are planning to rake up the Gadgil and Kasturirangan expert committee reports on the Western Ghats to allegedly embarrass the Congress.
The Union environment ministry had set up an expert team under famous conservationist Madhav Gadgil in 2010, following an uproar that the Western Ghats, a UNESCO world heritage that plays an important role in breaking rain clouds over the subcontinent, was shrinking due to human incursions.
When he submitted the report all six states falling under the Ghat region – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat – opposed it and another committee was constituted under former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Kasturirangan.
Many areas of Wayanad and Idukki, two mountainous districts of the state, had witnessed widespread protests in 2013 and 2015 over these reports.
Kasturirangan had made some changes in the zonal classification and reduced ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) to 37% from 64%. Most of the states opposed the report this time as well, saying people living near forests will be thrown out if these recommendations were implemented.
Addressing party workers in Kozhikode, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Congress was first to introduce neoliberal policies in the country and tried to implement the Gadgil and Kasturirangan reports, which would have evicted a large number of people living in fringe areas of forests.
“These panels were appointed during the Congress-led UPA regime,” he said.
The CPI(M) has taken a consistent position from the beginning opposing these reports vehemently. Party leaders said since a major portion of the constituency falls under the Ghat region they will take up the issue in a big way.
“We will take these reports to people,” said Wayanad district secretary PP Gagarin.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) is also planning a high voltage campaign in the district to contain a possible Rahul wave, party leaders said.
Kerala is going to the poll in the third stage of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election on April 23 and the last date for filing nominations is April 4. The votes will be counted on May 23.
12 Rajya Sabha MPs suspended for ‘violent behaviour’ in previous Parliament session
12 Opposite MPs were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for the remainder of the Winter Session because of ‘uncontrollable conduct’ during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
The authority notice said, “This House takes cognizance and firmly sentences the absolute negligence to the power of the Chair, complete maltreatment of rules of the House steadily accordingly wilfully hindering the matter of House through their exceptional demonstrations of offense, derisive, rowdy and fierce conduct and purposeful assaults on security workforce on the last day of 254th Session of Rajya Sabha for example August 11.”
Rundown OF SUSPENDED MPs
1. Elamaram Kareem (CPM)
2. Phulo Devi Netam (INC)
3. Chhaya Verma (INC)
4. Ripun Bora (INC)
5. Binoy Viswam (CPI)
6. Rajamani Patel (INC)
7. Dola Sen (TMC)
8. Shanta Chhetri (TMC)
9. Syed Nasir Hussain (INC)
10. Priyanka Chaturvedi (Shiv Sena)
11. Anil Desai (Shiv Sena)
12. Akhilesh Prasad Singh (INC)
Because of consistent interruptions and intermissions as the Opposition fought over the Pegasus sneaking around line and the three ranch laws, the Monsoon Session of Parliament finished two days sooner than what was planned for August.
On the last day of the meeting, Opposition MPs purportedly jumped on the authorities’ table, waved dark material and tossed records when the House started a conversation on ranchers’ dissent against new change laws. They likewise purportedly mauled the security staff
Notwithstanding, the Opposition affirmed that their MPs were messed up by the security faculty.
Following this, Rajya Sabha executive Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla had chosen to embrace a definite assessment of such rowdy scenes previously and the future game-plan in such cases.
Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress chief
Navjot Singh Sindhu who had been appointed President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on 23rd July had resigned from the party. This incident just took place just before Punjab’s former prime minister Amarinder Singh came on a visit to Delhi. In his letter after resignation he mentioned he might have resigned as a President but he cares about the welfare of the people of Punjab and he will continue to serve Congress.
“Nothing Political”: Sonu Sood, Arvind Kejriwal Meet For A Delhi Scheme
Arvind Kejriwal, whose AAP is the majority opposition in Punjab, also did not comment on Mr Sood’s possible entry into politics, and instead stressed his “inspiring” work.
Actor Sonu Sood on Friday played down talk of his political debut ahead of Assembly elections in Punjab next year, following speculation that either he or his sister – Malvika Sachar, a well-known social activist in the state’s Moga area – could contest on a Congress ticket.
Mr Sood was interacting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for ‘Desh ke Mentor‘ – a programme to guide students in government-run schools.
‘Sonu Soodji has been agreed to be a brand ambassador of our soon-to-be-launched ‘Desh ke Mentor‘ programme. It is matter of joy for us,” Mr Kejriwal said at the event.
When asked about his potential entry into politics, Sonu Sood told reporters “politics was not discussed… this is a bigger issue than that”.
“There was nothing political… I have always been saying this. Politics was not discussed. This is a bigger issue… I don’t think there can be a bigger issue,” he said, adding, “People always say, ‘If you want to do good work then come to politics …’ It is a wonderful field… but we didn’t discuss.”
Mr Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party is the majority opposition party in Punjab, also did not comment on Mr Sood’s possible entry into politics, and instead stressed on his “inspiring” work.
“Sonu Sood is an inspiration for the entire nation… Anywhere in the country, if someone is in trouble, (he) contacts and helps them. This is (his) wonder and charisma,” Mr Kejriwal said as he appointed Mr Sood as the brand ambassador for the programme.
The Delhi government’s ‘Education Mentoring Programme’ is part of its ‘Youth for Education’ initiative, and will see over 200 B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD students from the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technological University mentor around 1,000 school students.
The actor took to Twitter to say he is “honoured and humbled” to be the brand ambassador for the programme.
Truly honoured and humbled to be the brand ambassador of Desh Ke Mentor a programme which has given me an opportunity to mentor lakhs of students across India. Thank you so much @ArvindKejriwal sir for making me a part of this initiative.
Jai Hind ??
— sonu sood (@SonuSood) August 27, 2021
Announcing the programme in May, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister, said he hoped it would lead the way for more women in science.
“Although our nation is seeing major innovations in every field… these are mostly led by men. The participation of women is abysmal … especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects”, he said.
Mr Sood also discussed ‘Pravasi Rojagar‘ – an online job portal he set up to help migrant labourers.
“I was connected with the 7.5 lakh migrants. I had their data… Whenever I sent some home, I used to ask if they were coming back. They told me that they would if they got jobs. They were scared (thinking) parents might stop them from going back to (cities) where they worked,” he explained.
The popular actor helped hundreds of migrant workers (mainly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh) return home after they were left stranded during last year’s Covid lockdown.
He has also provided financial assistance to around 400 families of migrant workers, and helped people during the oxygen crisis that marked the second wave of infections.
“I’ve decided to help families of the deceased or injured migrants for them to have a secure future. I feel it’s my personal responsibility to support them,” he was quoted by news agency PTI.
He even launched a toll-free helpline number to help those who needed assistance.
With input from ANI, PTI
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