CONGRESS LEADERSHIP

is-baghel-government-inching-towards-trouble-with-its-lieutenants-under-surveillance

Is Baghel Government inching towards trouble with its lieutenants under surveillance

If some well-placed sources are to be believed, the Bhupesh Baghel government in Chhattisgarh may land into trouble. Extensive raids conducted by Income Tax Department in February this year on the residence of Saumya Chaurasia, a 2008 batch PCS officer, may prove to be a prelude to further actions. The I-T Department had conducted raids at over 25 premises; including those of Ajaz Dhebar (Raipur Mayor and Congress leader), former Chief Secretary Vivek Dhand and several contractors, Chartered Accountants, and big businessmen.

It may be mentioned here that Ms Chaurasia who was posted as Deputy Secretary to Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has been considered among a few closest officers to the present dispensation in the state. Reportedly, she is under the surveillance of central agencies.

It is learned that key conversations between senior Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh and New Delhi were intercepted and the said IT raids were supposed to have some links with the intercepted calls.

As it happens in Indian politics across party lines, the ruling party in a state or states are expected to support or fund elections in other states. Chhattisgarh too supposedly extended huge financial assistance during Jharkhand elections. Sources say that central agencies have intercepted some key conversations between senior Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh and New Delhi.

Sources indicate that the Baghel government may get into trouble the same way it happened with Kamal Nath. It may be recalled that on April 07, 2019 in the middle of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there were massive IT raids at various locations having direct and indirect links with Kamal Nath including his nephew Ratul Puri (CM’s OSD), Praveen Kakkar and a close associate R K Miglani.

It could well be underlined that for the BJP, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are accomplished tasks now and BJP Rajya Sabha Member Subramanyam Swami has started instigating the Uddhav government in Maharashtra to untie the knot with Congress-NCP alliance. However, it would not be so easy to destabilize the Congress government in Chhattisgarh which has a brute majority unlike MP, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

22 May 2020
has-the-time-come-for-jayanti-natrajan-to-don-saffron-robe-

Has the time come for Jayanti Natrajan to don saffron robe?

Is this the time for former Union minister and three-term Rajya Sabha member Jayanti Natrajan to join the BJP? The way she is defending the government in TV debates and opposing the stand taken by the Congress and its high command, it appears that the time has come for her to don a saffron robe.

 

The BJP is very aggressive in two southern states – Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The party is not only strengthening the organisation in these states especially in TN but also reaching out to masses. A campaign is run across the state in a very subtle manner to dilute Dravidian identity and bring Hindutva identity to the fore.

 

This is to recall that when Rajnikant attacked social reformer Periyar EV Ramasamy who started the Dravidian movement in the state, political parties like DMK, AIDMK and other Dravidian outfits not only criticized Rajnikant but asked him to apologize. But he stood his ground despite several cases were registered against him.

 

With two Tamil Brahmins in the Modi cabinet – External Affairs minister S Jaishanker and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman – the BJP might have some bigger plans for the state. The strategy of the BJP as has always been to pick some establish leaders from the region to make its strength is working in Tamil Nadu too.

 

In such a situation, if Natrajan joins the BJP and works in Tamil Nadu as she is based in Chennai, it will be definitely a treasure for the party. She is bitter about the Gandhi family as she was asked to resign as Union environment minister and work for the party unceremoniously. She resigned from the Congress holding Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi making her scapegoat. She had also accused the interference of Rahul Gandhi in the working of the ministry. So there is a lot to unfold in Tamil Nadu.

18 May 2020
is-baghel-government-inching-towards-trouble-with-its-lieutenants-under-surveillance

Is Baghel Government inching towards trouble with its lieutenants under surveillance

By Rakesh Ranjan 22 May 2020

If some well-placed sources are to be believed, the Bhupesh Baghel government in Chhattisgarh may land into trouble. Extensive raids conducted by Income Tax Department in February this year on the residence of Saumya Chaurasia, a 2008 batch PCS officer, may prove to be a prelude to further actions. The I-T Department had conducted raids at over 25 premises; including those of Ajaz Dhebar (Raipur Mayor and Congress leader), former Chief Secretary Vivek Dhand and several contractors, Chartered Accountants, and big businessmen.

It may be mentioned here that Ms Chaurasia who was posted as Deputy Secretary to Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has been considered among a few closest officers to the present dispensation in the state. Reportedly, she is under the surveillance of central agencies.

It is learned that key conversations between senior Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh and New Delhi were intercepted and the said IT raids were supposed to have some links with the intercepted calls.

As it happens in Indian politics across party lines, the ruling party in a state or states are expected to support or fund elections in other states. Chhattisgarh too supposedly extended huge financial assistance during Jharkhand elections. Sources say that central agencies have intercepted some key conversations between senior Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh and New Delhi.

Sources indicate that the Baghel government may get into trouble the same way it happened with Kamal Nath. It may be recalled that on April 07, 2019 in the middle of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there were massive IT raids at various locations having direct and indirect links with Kamal Nath including his nephew Ratul Puri (CM’s OSD), Praveen Kakkar and a close associate R K Miglani.

It could well be underlined that for the BJP, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are accomplished tasks now and BJP Rajya Sabha Member Subramanyam Swami has started instigating the Uddhav government in Maharashtra to untie the knot with Congress-NCP alliance. However, it would not be so easy to destabilize the Congress government in Chhattisgarh which has a brute majority unlike MP, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

has-the-time-come-for-jayanti-natrajan-to-don-saffron-robe-

Has the time come for Jayanti Natrajan to don saffron robe?

By IndianMandarins 18 May 2020

Is this the time for former Union minister and three-term Rajya Sabha member Jayanti Natrajan to join the BJP? The way she is defending the government in TV debates and opposing the stand taken by the Congress and its high command, it appears that the time has come for her to don a saffron robe.

 

The BJP is very aggressive in two southern states – Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The party is not only strengthening the organisation in these states especially in TN but also reaching out to masses. A campaign is run across the state in a very subtle manner to dilute Dravidian identity and bring Hindutva identity to the fore.

 

This is to recall that when Rajnikant attacked social reformer Periyar EV Ramasamy who started the Dravidian movement in the state, political parties like DMK, AIDMK and other Dravidian outfits not only criticized Rajnikant but asked him to apologize. But he stood his ground despite several cases were registered against him.

 

With two Tamil Brahmins in the Modi cabinet – External Affairs minister S Jaishanker and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman – the BJP might have some bigger plans for the state. The strategy of the BJP as has always been to pick some establish leaders from the region to make its strength is working in Tamil Nadu too.

 

In such a situation, if Natrajan joins the BJP and works in Tamil Nadu as she is based in Chennai, it will be definitely a treasure for the party. She is bitter about the Gandhi family as she was asked to resign as Union environment minister and work for the party unceremoniously. She resigned from the Congress holding Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi making her scapegoat. She had also accused the interference of Rahul Gandhi in the working of the ministry. So there is a lot to unfold in Tamil Nadu.

yet-another-self-goal-by-the-congress-on-migrant-labourers-

Yet another self-goal by the Congress on migrant labourers?

By IndianMandarins 03 Apr 2020

The Congress seems to have missed people’s pulse yet again when the CWC criticized the government over the plight of migrant laborers walking back to their native places in view of COVID-19 lockdown. However, the government decision is not only hailed by the rest of the opposition and also a section of Congress leaders but various countries and institutions so much so that IOC praised Modi like anything while India stands much below in Olympic performances.

Why this islandish approach of the Congress at a time when there should have been unconditional support to the government as the situation is unprecedented for sure. Has the Congress believed certain media reports the only truth? Have they really taken the view of migrants? The government immediately come to the rescue looking at exodus and worked on war footing and quarantined them.

Actually a section of people even in the Congress started saying that ‘Hate Modi’ has become the policy document of the Congress which was retorted by the BJP saying that enough time will be there to do politics, it is the time to show solidarity to emerge out of this menace.

When everyone is requested to maintain social distancing and even cabinet meetings are taking place following those norms convening CWC meetings in such a situation was uncalled for. Interestingly, the government is considering suggestions that are necessary even during the lockdown but talking about the economy when saving the lives of people is the priority of anyone questions even the political prudence of the Congress.

Some of the suggestions made by Congress had been announced way back, they might not be with the same name but they are there whether helping MANREGA workers, laborers, poor people, farmers or any other section. Congress may get some media support but people are not taking it very positively so it must reboot first before attacking the government else the party will be embarrassed over and over again.

coincidences-haunt-aap-&-congress-ahead-of-delhi-polls;-bjp-outmanoeuvres-again

Coincidences haunt AAP & Congress ahead of Delhi polls; BJP outmanoeuvres again

By IndianMandarins 07 Feb 2020

One may call it a mere coincidence that just a day before Delhi Assembly goes to polls certain issues have captured media optics that might dampen the hope of favourites in the hustings -- the AAP. The Congress might even get humiliated for second consecutive time in row bringing fortunes for the BJP in Delhi.

However, some other issues like PM’s speech in both the houses of Parliament and speech to celebrate pact with Bodo in Assam is an astute political plan by the party leadership.

Hearing on Shaheen Bagh in the Supreme Court is scheduled for February 7, 2020 and arrest of OSD to AAP Minister Manish Sisodia for accepting Rs 2 lakh as bribe are just a coincidence. But not other developments. Everyone knows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on February 6, 2020 in Lok Sabha captured the media attention on the last day of election campaign. It seems that the PM addressed four rallies in Delhi two from Parliament.

Further, its not just a coincidence, rather an example of sharp poll management that PM Modi is scheduled to address a public meeting in Assam’s Kokrajhar district to celebrate peace deals with Bodo which will certainly earn big dividend in garnering NE voters in Delhi.

This is to recall how PM visited and spent time in a Kedarnath cave after 2019 Lok Sabha elections, so they know how to remain in the public eye irrespective of media houses liking or not liking it. However, a latest satta bazar survey gives BJP 41 seats in Delhi but this could be an strategy for them to earn more bucks with AAP actually having edge of saffron outfit.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

karnataka,-kamal-and-kamal-nath:-bjp’s-opponents-under-constant-pressure

Karnataka, Kamal and Kamal Nath: BJP’s opponents under constant pressure

By IndianMandarins 11 Sep 2019

Union minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted removing Kamal Nath from the post of MP CM for his involvement in 1984 Sikh riots case but it has a bigger political implication both for the BJP and the Congress alike. What is that?

The Congress has been accusing the BJP of its alleged intention of destabilizing Congress governments in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh after Karnataka government was taken over by the BJP replacing the Congress. Actually it has been NaMo-Shah strategy to keep their opponents on tenterhooks by keeping them under pressure. This seems to be the approach towards these states as well.

However, the BJP is in no position to do anything in Chhattisgarh but yes in MP they might do something if not topple the government, speculation is rife that Jyotiraditya Scindia may replace Kamal Nath in MP as Jyotiraditya Scindia joining the BJP will have its own bearing the party and the BJP would eschew to go for any such move. A crippled non-performing government equally suits the BJP.

Not opening many fronts at the same time, the BJP will go slow in Rajasthan as Sachin Pilot has not forgotten that he was denied his due as CM’s post was given to Ashok Gehlot but Sachin will have to wait for some more time. This is clear that the NDA leadership does not do anything in such a way that anyone can read, understand or fathom their next move.

time-for-congress-to-put-its-acts-together-as-it-is-running-out-of-time!

Time for Congress to put its acts together as it is running out of time!

By IndianMandarins 07 Jul 2019

New Delhi: Over stretching drama in the Congress over the leadership issue may cost the party not only the Karnataka government but also further damage its chances in Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand and later in West Bengal. Over a month has passed but the Congress leaders have failed to reach any amicable solution to the issue of leadership to take on the BJP.

 

Crisis in Karnataka is a big setback for the party as it is present there with its fundamental strength but it appears to be orphaned in the state and local leaderships are calling shorts with limited prudence. On the other hand disgruntled leaders are not ready to listen to people who are at par with them in many ways.

 

In Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has come out in open to say that unsettled leadership issue is hampering talks on alliance and just three months are left for them. The Congress that ruled Haryana just before the BJP government in the state came to power seems to be alien to the state and there is no activity of the party because they are not only seeking guidance but go ahead on several issues. Jharkhand too where the party has the scope to occupy some opposition space did not move even a bit.

 

Delhi still has some better chances and its vote share was showing an upward trend but recent development in the party has once again left the party in doldrums. Not only the party workers but voters too need some confidence in the party that they want to vote for to challenge opponents but this is completely missing from the Congress.

 

Political analysts say that any institution is bigger than individual and if the Congress president Rahul Gandhi has made up his mind then the party leadership must put their acts together to built up the party one state by another state instead of trying to please the outgoing chief of the party who obviously is not liking all these things.

 

It is vision that will matter for the Congress that is in tatters. So the Congress must put its acts together for the betterment of the Congress that has a long history of ups and downs but it has never been out at any point in time. The party leadership must also contemplate that elections can be won or lost in six months but reviving something needs little more efforts and time so the Congress needs to work accordingly.

(By Vinod Kumar Shukla)

raga-vs-congress:-a-new-chapter-or-a-far-cry

RaGa Vs Congress: A new chapter or a far cry?

By IndianMandarins 04 Jul 2019

The grand old party that Congress has always been somehow now appears to be poised to open a new chapter in its politics. This is what the four-page letter written and released by the party president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday evening targeting the party’s workers and well wishers has come to indicate. Yet, the question is about the precise nature of the task before the party. And it is obviously to make a break from its past and become a party of future.

 

This is important since Congress has mostly been trapped in its glorious history, emanating from its stellar role in the freedom movement and also through the decades thereafter when its leaders could rebuild the badly ravaged country due to centuries of colonial rule.

 

The tone and tenor of Rahul’s letter brings indications of his intention to clear party stables at its Central and State headquarters and set out the party leaders and hangers-on so that they face the public. This is a stupendous task given the years, nay decades, of inertia, complacency and easy ways that have come to beset the ranks of the party.

 

Through his letter Rahul points to the need of warhorses to put a fight to reclaim and redeem the country from the new and divisive course it is being set on rather than the top-heavy structure that Congress has been becoming in recent years.

 

Thus, Rahul talks of need for “radical transformation” of the party to resurrect institutions that, according to him, are coming under the influence of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He tries to present an alternative view of politics away from that of the RSS.

 

Thus, he says in his letter, “Congress Party must radically transform itself. Today the BJP is systematically crushing the voice of the Indian people. It is the duty of the Congress Party to defend these voices. India has never and will never be one voice. It is and always will be a symphony of voices. That is the true essence of Bharat Mata.”

 

Remarkable words though these are the battle cry that Rahul is trying to sound somehow takes the focus more towards society rather than to keep it on politics. And this is going to be no easy route to power since it has to go through the process of reforms for which the Congress does not seem to have a programme at least right now.

 

Rahul talks more about renunciation to put the party and its cadre in a selfless service mode than its ranks usual desire for power and influence. He says, “It is a habit in India that the powerful cling to power, no one sacrifices power. But we will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing the desire for power and fighting a deeper ideological battle.”

 

Thus, the task that Rahul has marked for Congresspersons looks to be a tall order given their habitual reluctance to put themselves to hard work and their overdependence on party’s top leadership. This is how Rahul also justifies his decision to relinquish the highest post of the party. So post-Rahul Congress ranks will have to confront and grapple with reality, if they want to remain with the party. This is so despite the fact that the bulk of Congressmen have been insisting upon Rahul to relent and continue in his present position and thereby keep their zones of cool comfort unscathed.

(By Abid Shah)

rahul's-napoleon-iii-moment

Rahul's Napoleon III moment

By IndianMandarins 13 Jun 2019

Even though Congress President Rahul Gandhi's moment of Napoleon III has arrived, he is unwilling to go in exile like the French ruler who presided over the destruction of the Bonaparte dynasty. And like the French ruler who once famously said that he represented a cause and a defeat - the cause was that of the empire and the defeat was the loss of the sovereignty of the people, Rahul in this  moment of  extreme disaster is harping on saving India from the so-called communal poison sowed by the BJP and an authoritarian state allegedly being ushered in by PM Narendra Modi.

 

The problem with his acolytes and admirers is that they believe in their own propaganda. And the efficacy of their propaganda on the so-called Khan Market Gang as the sure sign of their success in 'dismantling' the image of the PM as a person dedicated to the cause of the people and the nation.

 

Long before Rahul hit the dirt tracks of national poll campaign in 2019, sometime in 2018 around the time of some of the state elections, his media fans ran and played up a video in which he was seen practicing Aikido - a type of Japanese martial art. The video showed how he played himself up against a stronger opponent and trounced him without causing any injury to the opponent in line with Aikido's basic principle of not harming the opponent as he, too, being part of 'harmonious spirit.'

 

In real combat of politics, he, though, didn't live up to Aikido's philosophy of 'harmonious spirit.' Indeed, he did exactly the opposite by calling the PM names. Carried away by his visceral hatred for NaMo, he distorted even the Supreme Court's observation on Rafale for which he had to apologize to the court.

 

And the convincing electoral defeat seems to have rubbed more salt to his wounded vanity about being the only champion of secularism, farmers' rights, etc. The wound seems to have been so deep that he keeps repeating all the trashed charges against the PM as if he were in delirium.

 

Therefore, before he sets out on political restructuring of the Congress Party, he better understand and grasp the true philosophy of Aikido: to live a harmonious life. Which means, he better not get into avoidable conflicts with the BJP on the issues he creates and then tries to market them as the issues of the people. He had better start off respecting the survival instinct of the people, instead of relying on the advice of armchair theoreticians sitting in distant universities and of course, completely rid himself of the charm of his inner circles. In fact, he should truly become an Aikido monk if he wishes a place in India's public life and wishes to avoid a Napoleon III like catastrophe and consequent exile.

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