CONGRESS VS BJP

measured-moves-by-gandhies-on-the-ram-temple-issue

Measured moves by Gandhies on the Ram Temple issue

Four-members of the first family of Congress has taken slightly different views on the ground breaking ceremony of Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came out in open support of the temple by tweeting, her husband was a bit philosophical on the issue while Rahul Gandhi did not miss the chance to take on the government with his tweet. Congress president Sonia Gandhi kept silent on the issue.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “Simplicity, courage, restraint, sacrifice, commitment, are the essence of the name Deenbandhu Lord Rama. Ram is in everyone, Ram is with everyone. With the message and blessings of Lord Ram and Mother Sita, the Bhoomipujan of Ramlalla's temple became an occasion for national unity, fraternity, and cultural congregation.”

Speaking to a television channel Robert Vadra called it as an occasion of national unity. However, Rahul Gandhi in a very subtle way tried to criticize when he tweeted in Hindi that goes like this: “Ram is love, who can never be in hatred; Ram is compassion, he can never be in cruelty; Ram is justice, he cannot appear for injustice.”

However, the view taken by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was criticized by her party’s ally in Kerala. Some other Congress leaders to expressed their view on the issue discounting the BJP from it.

06 Aug 2020
leadership-crisis-in-congress-makes-squabbling-ugly

Leadership crisis in Congress makes squabbling ugly

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is discharged from the hospital amid bickering continuing in the party. However, former president Rahul Gandhi asked party leaders to stop squabbling. There is huge pressure on the party leadership to anoint Rahul Gandhi as party president once again.

Apparently, this has something to do with August 10 when Sonia completes one year of interim presidentship. The moot question is about a leadership vacuum. Suggestions have started pouring in that Sonia cannot function as interim president indefinitely and Rahul seems to want power but not the responsibility.

Leaders close to Rahul Gandhi are hoping that he will change his mind. Some issues erupted last week at a meeting of Rajya Sabha MPs called by Sonia Gandhi. A routine review meeting saw the heated debate and there is no end to it.

Several MPs including Rajiv Satav and KC Venugopal, thought to be loyal to Rahul held the UPA years responsible for the decline in Congress’ fortunes. By implication, this meant criticism of former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s government and its policies. Several leaders came out in public to say that while they respected Singh, they had a view that needed to be taken into account.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the BJP was out of the office from 2004 to 2014. Not once did it blame Atal Bihari Vajpayee or his government for its predicament then. In the Congress, unfortunately, some ill-informed Congressmen would rather take swipes at the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government than fight the NDA and BJP. When unity is required, they divide.

The debate inside the party is not just on its current predicament, it is also on who the primary enemy of the party is. Several leaders have advised Rahul that equivalence with Narendra Modi is a mistake as Modi’s popularity is at its peak. Instead, Congress should find blindspots within the BJP and the NDA government and focus on those. These leaders include R P N Singh, Jairam Ramesh and others. However, there is no evidence that Rahul is taking this advice. 

August 10 will bring some clarity on the leadership muddle in the party. The party constitution vests the Congress Working Committee with the authority to appoint someone who can run the organization when faced with a crisis — a decision that has to be ratified by the All India Congress Committee (AICC). However, an AICC session might not be possible in the midst of a pandemic. Therefore, collective leadership might be the only answer.

05 Aug 2020
measured-moves-by-gandhies-on-the-ram-temple-issue

Measured moves by Gandhies on the Ram Temple issue

By IndianMandarins 06 Aug 2020

Four-members of the first family of Congress has taken slightly different views on the ground breaking ceremony of Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came out in open support of the temple by tweeting, her husband was a bit philosophical on the issue while Rahul Gandhi did not miss the chance to take on the government with his tweet. Congress president Sonia Gandhi kept silent on the issue.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “Simplicity, courage, restraint, sacrifice, commitment, are the essence of the name Deenbandhu Lord Rama. Ram is in everyone, Ram is with everyone. With the message and blessings of Lord Ram and Mother Sita, the Bhoomipujan of Ramlalla's temple became an occasion for national unity, fraternity, and cultural congregation.”

Speaking to a television channel Robert Vadra called it as an occasion of national unity. However, Rahul Gandhi in a very subtle way tried to criticize when he tweeted in Hindi that goes like this: “Ram is love, who can never be in hatred; Ram is compassion, he can never be in cruelty; Ram is justice, he cannot appear for injustice.”

However, the view taken by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was criticized by her party’s ally in Kerala. Some other Congress leaders to expressed their view on the issue discounting the BJP from it.

leadership-crisis-in-congress-makes-squabbling-ugly

Leadership crisis in Congress makes squabbling ugly

By IndianMandarins 05 Aug 2020

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is discharged from the hospital amid bickering continuing in the party. However, former president Rahul Gandhi asked party leaders to stop squabbling. There is huge pressure on the party leadership to anoint Rahul Gandhi as party president once again.

Apparently, this has something to do with August 10 when Sonia completes one year of interim presidentship. The moot question is about a leadership vacuum. Suggestions have started pouring in that Sonia cannot function as interim president indefinitely and Rahul seems to want power but not the responsibility.

Leaders close to Rahul Gandhi are hoping that he will change his mind. Some issues erupted last week at a meeting of Rajya Sabha MPs called by Sonia Gandhi. A routine review meeting saw the heated debate and there is no end to it.

Several MPs including Rajiv Satav and KC Venugopal, thought to be loyal to Rahul held the UPA years responsible for the decline in Congress’ fortunes. By implication, this meant criticism of former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s government and its policies. Several leaders came out in public to say that while they respected Singh, they had a view that needed to be taken into account.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the BJP was out of the office from 2004 to 2014. Not once did it blame Atal Bihari Vajpayee or his government for its predicament then. In the Congress, unfortunately, some ill-informed Congressmen would rather take swipes at the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government than fight the NDA and BJP. When unity is required, they divide.

The debate inside the party is not just on its current predicament, it is also on who the primary enemy of the party is. Several leaders have advised Rahul that equivalence with Narendra Modi is a mistake as Modi’s popularity is at its peak. Instead, Congress should find blindspots within the BJP and the NDA government and focus on those. These leaders include R P N Singh, Jairam Ramesh and others. However, there is no evidence that Rahul is taking this advice. 

August 10 will bring some clarity on the leadership muddle in the party. The party constitution vests the Congress Working Committee with the authority to appoint someone who can run the organization when faced with a crisis — a decision that has to be ratified by the All India Congress Committee (AICC). However, an AICC session might not be possible in the midst of a pandemic. Therefore, collective leadership might be the only answer.

how-the-bjp-and-congress-handle-their-dissent-

How the BJP and Congress handle their dissent?

By IndianMandarins 20 Jul 2020

Both the Congress and the BJP face rebellion but how differently things are handled by the leadership of both the parties. When four National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs withdrew support to Manipur’s N Biren Singh-led government on June 17, 2020 threatening to bring it down and Rajya Sabha elections were also close, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s central leadership swung into action.

From Union home minister Amit Shah to BJP chief JP Nadda to party general secretary Ram Madhav immediately met the disgruntled MLAs and NPP chief Conrad Sangma to avert the crisis. It blew over by June 25 when Singh shook hands with detractors. A potential crisis in Karnataka in February was averted where several BJP leaders were upset over the denial of cabinet berths.

But due to alleged absence of grievance redress mechanism, the crisis in Rajasthan Congress has gone out of hands. Ashok Gehlot said that he had not spoken to his deputy Sachin Pilot from the past 18 months tells the real tale. This crisis is happening just two months after the MP government fell when 22 lawmakers resigned to pave the way for the BJP’s return to power. Rebels have expressed dissatisfaction over the party leadership not ready to hear them out.

A BJP leader is of the view that disagreements are expected in any political party. This is not a new phenomenon. This happened between Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, between L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In such cases, these leaders used to supplement each other or even surrender to the other leader. There is a third authority in the BJP -- the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh -- that serves as the safety valve.

Despite such mechanism, not all disagreements were amicably solved. Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh had a bitter parting with the BJP after being sidelined. Shatrughan Sinha, Kirti Azad and Navjot Singh Sidhu came out in public with their grievances. However, no party will accept that it does not have a proper redress system.

old-guard-versus-young-leaders-in-congress-surfaces-again

Old guard versus young leaders in Congress surfaces again

By Rakesh Ranjan 14 Jul 2020

It is old guards versus young leaders yet again to the fore in Congress with Deputy chief minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot sulking and Congress leader trying to defuse the crisis in the state. All young leaders of the Congress are either sidelined or looking for some other refuse. 

There is a long list of these leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Jitin Prasada, Sandeep Dikshit, Sushmita Deo, Gaurav Gogoi, Priyanka Chaturvedi and a few more young leaders.

Scindia has joined the BJP, Pilot at war with Gehlot, Deora stepped down as Mumbai Congress chief and Priyanka Chaturvedi resigns and joins Shiv Sena. It was Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, and Delhi is almost leaderless for the Congress. Sushmita Deo and Gaurav Gogoi are in oblivion despite belonging to the family of old guard Congressmen.

Another leader in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sharma had quit the Congress over his differences with Congress veteran Tarun Gogoi. Even the Congress leaders accept that there have been several instances of veterans not treating young leaders well. In the run-up to the 2014 election, a powerful general secretary —considered close to Rahul Gandhi — earned a reputation of not behaving well with young leaders. Ashok Tanwar in Haryana was also thrown out of the Congress despite being close to Rahul Gandhi.

Mamata Banerjee left the Congress in 1998 due to a tussle with party old guard, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy left the Congress and formed his own party after being sidelined in the Andhra Pradesh Congress following his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s death in a helicopter crash in 2009. So there is a past history of disenchantments as well. 

Many party leaders believe that uncertainty in the central leadership, especially in the aftermath of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls has led to factional feuds in the Congress. With Rahul Gandhi resigning as party chief after the Lok Sabha poll debacle, regional leaders tried to enlarge their own political space at the expense of young rivals, maintained two Delhi-based party functionaries, requesting anonymity.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

will-gokhale-marg-lucknow-be-priyanka-s-new-address-

Will Gokhale Marg, Lucknow be Priyanka’s new address?

By Rakesh Ranjan 04 Jul 2020

It was in the year 2007-2008 and I was working with an English weekly Sahara Time and used to be part of the editorial meetings. The then Editor-in-chief Uday Sinha in his almost every editorial discussion on politics used to say that ‘if Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi want success in politics, then they must make Lucknow as their base at least for five years”. Apparently his words are proving to be true after his sad demise around a month ago in Lucknow.

Years later it is being gauged whether Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would change her base to Lucknow. Several media reports are doing rounds and requests from the party leaders are pouring in for her to think over it. It could be a game-changer move as some say.

The Centre this week asked Priyanka to vacate her Lodi Estate bungalow in view of Priyanka being no longer an SPG protectee. She has been very active in Uttar Pradesh which was once Congress’ pocket borough. The state leadership is urging her to shift her base from Delhi to Lucknow in a bid to strengthen the organization and unnerve the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls due in the next two years.

The house at Gokhale Marg in Lucknow was “refurbished” in October 2019 to enable her to stay there for a longer duration. She doesn’t need to look for a house in Lucknow. However, she needs to take a call whether she wants to shift her base to Lucknow permanently. UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu also remained non-committal about her Lucknow plans.

UP is the key battleground state that sends the maximum number of Lok Sabha MP that is 80. Priyanka left not even a single issue on which the Yogi government could be targeted. Political slugfest between Priyanka and BSP chief Mayawati is also continuing when Priyanka called Mayawati an “undeclared BJP spokesperson”.

She has been working tirelessly in UP whether her visit to Umbha village to arranging buses to ferry stranded migrant workers back to their native places. Her shifting to Lucknow will come as a shot in the arm, as workers may get emboldened to challenge the ruling BJP in the run-up to the 2022 assembly elections.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

now-congress-takes-on-bjp-on-pm-cares-fund

Now Congress takes on BJP on PM CARES Fund

By IndianMandarins 29 Jun 2020

After being cornered on getting funds for Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Congress has hit back at the BJP alleging that PM CARES Fund was accepting donations from Chinese firms when the armies of the two countries were engaged in a border standoff in Ladakh.

Senior Congress leader spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 18 meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the last six years and asked why he has not yet called China an aggressor. “I implore the Prime Minister to say China is an aggressor,” he said.

Singhvi said reports suggest the PM CARES Fund has received Rs 9,678 crore by May 20. The Congress spokesperson alleged Huawei has donated Rs 7 crore, TikTok Rs 30 crore, Paytm Rs 100 crore, Xiaomi Rs 15 crore and Oppo Rs 1 crore to the fund. HT couldn’t independently ascertain this.

Over the past few days, the BJP released details of contributions made to RGF by various state-owned companies, government departments, and the Chinese embassy. RGF is a private trust while the PM CARES Fund was set up in March this year to deal with any emergency arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has already funded the purchase of around 50,000 ventilators by government hospitals across India.

One of the allegations against the Congress, aired repeatedly by various BJP leaders over the past few days, is that the contributions made by the Chinese embassy and the Chinese government to the private trust controlled by the Gandhi family encouraged the party-led United Progressive Alliance government to turn a blind eye to India’s soaring trade deficit with China.

The charges and counter-charges have come against the backdrop of the stand-off between the two armies in Eastern Ladakh, where, on June 15, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in countering a transgression by the Chinese. An unknown number of Chinese soldiers also died in the incident.

Singhvi alleged that it was the BJP that has maintained ties with the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 2007 and its presidents, starting with Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah, have had the maximum number of exchanges with China.

reward-time-modi-shah-may-reward-ladakh-mp-namgyal

Reward time: Modi-Shah may reward Ladakh MP Namgyal

By IndianMandarins 12 Jun 2020

Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards anytime soon but it is delayed because of the prevailing COVID-19 situation but the most interesting aspect of this is that in this reshuffle Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal may find a place as a state minister which will be a very important move by the government.

The government appears to be giving representation from Ladakh which was neglected from ages with the only focus on the Valley by the successive governments. People say Namgyal’s induction will serve many purpose. Ladakh will get representation; a vocal and articulate young leader will be given his due; it will help to develop the neglected region for years; the dominance of Valley will be over; and the BJP will reach out to remote areas by giving representation to the region. Some say this will also be staring at China with whom India is in a stand-off in the region.

There are many other names that will be included and dropped but Namgyal’s induction will definitely be not only interesting but important for the government. The young leader had win hearts of leaders of the party during 370 debate in Parliament especially Union home minister Amit Shah.

difficult-for-congress-to-win-second-rs-seat-in-gujarat-with-mlas-resigning

Difficult for Congress to win second RS seat in Gujarat with MLAs resigning

By IndianMandarins 06 Jun 2020

There is always a fuss about Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections and with the third Congress MLA resigning from the party, it is pretty clear that the BJP is looking for maximum gain there. Gujarat is home state of PM Narendra Modi, HM Amit Shah and also the top Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

The Congress legislator Brijesh Merja resigned from the Assembly. Two Congress legislators -- Akshay Patel and Jitu Chaudhary – already resigned from the assembly on June 4.

It is pertinent to note here that with the resignation of Merja, the chances of the Congress winning the second Rajya Sabha seat becomes bleak as its tally in the 182-member House has now gone down to 65. Five Congress MLAs — Somabhai Patel, Praveen Maru, JV Kakadia, Mangal Gavit and Pradyuman Singh Jadeja — had resigned in March.

At present, the total strength of the Gujarat assembly is 172. The ruling BJP has 103 legislators, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) one. There is one Independent legislator Jignesh Mevani.

The Congress has already fielded its senior leaders Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki, while the ruling BJP has named Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin as its candidates.

The Rajya Sabha elections, earlier scheduled to be held on March 26, were deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent imposition of the nationwide lockdown from March 25. Last time the BJP tried to win one more seat but Ahmed Patel managed to win the Rajya Sabha seat but apparently, this time round the BJP will secure three seats in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the Congress named veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its candidate for the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka.

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