Gopalkrishna Gandhi opposition’s choice for Vice-President

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been chosen as the Opposition’s candidate for Vice-President. The decision to pick the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was taken after 18 Opposition parties met on Tuesday.

According to Indian Express, only Gandhi’s name was discussed during the meeting at Parliament House.

After the meeting, Congress President Sonia Gandhi told reporters that Gandhi’s name for the nomination had been raised unanimously by all parties present in the meeting.

“Eighteen parties have decided to field Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the opposition’s candidate for vice president”, Indian Express quoted the Congress President as saying.

Nitish Kumar caused a bit of worry in the opposition camp by not attending the meeting, although he sent Sharad Yadav, JDU’s other top leader to compensate for his absence. There has already been some tension in the Opposition camp over Nitish Kumar’s support for BJP Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. But Nitish Kumar’s earlier approval of Gandhi, though, is a major positive.

The meeting was attended by Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, NC’s Omar Abdullah, SP’s Naresh Agarwal and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra. If required, polling for the vice president’s post will be held on August 5 and counting will also take place in the same evening.

The NDA government is yet to announce their candidate for the vice president.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV 

Nitish Kumar to support Ram Nath Kovind for President

On Wednesday, June 21, leaders of the Janata Dal United (JDU) party stated that Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar has decided to support Ram Nath Kovind for President, siding with the Modi government.

According to NDTV, Kumar is due to meet with his party colleagues as well as Sharad Yadav on Wednesday evening  to formally announce that they will not support any candidate that the Congress-led opposition decides to field. He has reportedly conveyed this message to Sonia Gandhi, Congress president and Lalu Yadav as well, according to India Today.

“It is for the first time that the Governor of Bihar has been chosen for the post of President. We are all supporting him, the Chief Minister is supporting him…it’s good for Bihar,” said Ratnesh Sada, a leader from Kumar’s JDU told NDTV.

Kovind, who was announced as NDA’s candidate for the presidential position, was the Governor of Bihar and a Dalit leader. Kumar has praised the ex-Governor, who resigned on Tuesday after the announcement of his candidature.

The presidential elections, if necessary, are scheduled for July 17, that is, if the opposition decides to field an opponent to Kovind. With Shiv Sena and other regional parties having pledged their support to the NDA, Kovind is likely to win the election, reported India Today.

According to sources, the opposition may also go in for a Dalit candidate to match Kovind, with former Speaker Meira Kumar, B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar and former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde being possible names.

 

Sources: India Today, NDTV

Patiala House court rejects Subramanian’s plea

Subramanian Swami,BJP lawmaker received a setback in the National Herald case, as Patiala house court in Delhi rejected his plea seeking documents for the congress party. The case was filed against prominent Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and others.

Earlier Subramanian Swami has argued that the accounts of the congress leaders should be scrutinised and checked,whether they have provided 90 crore in a loan from tax exempted money to the National Herald newspaper. Congress has also argued that it is within its rights to provide a loan in order to revive a newspaper in the national interest.

National Herald had been set up by the first Indian prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, however, it had to shut down in 2008 due to poor earnings and mismanagement.

The Gandhis are accused of acquiring the newspaper firm for Rs 50 lakh, with the intentions of grabbing its properties in Delhi worth thousands of crore.

Gandhi’s counsel, however, claimed that Swamy has not made Congress an accused in the case. Meanwhile, Subramanian Swami has denied these claims. He has stated that the court has already summoned Congress leaders.Subramanian Swami has also mentioned that he will appeal to the Supreme Court on Patiala High Court’s order.

Source – NDTV,ECONOMIC TIMES,DNA

image source – XEDKNOWLEDGE

Thousands come out in support of Sonia Gandhi’s UP poll campaign in Varanasi

With the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections at close quarters, Congress President Sonia Gandhi ventured into the contention by launching her party’s poll campaign with a road show in Varanasi on Tuesday, which also happens to be PM Modi’s constituency for the past two years.

 Scores of Congress supporters participated in the 6.5 km road show from the Circuit House right upto Englishiya Line, including 5000 motorcyclists accompanying Gandhi’s parade.
Reportedly, the show began with Sonia Gandhi garlanding the statue of B R Ambedkar at the Circuit House. She was also seen waving to the crowd from an open roof SUV and stepped out of the vehicle several times to accept the warm wishes of her supporters.

Also present  were senior congress leaders, including Raj Babbar, Sheila Dikshit, Pramod Tiwari and Sanjay Singh who were in full support of their party chief.

In a statement to NDTV, Raj Babbar said, “Yes we need a chamatkaar (miracle) in Uttar Pradesh, but it has happened in the past too, even 2014 was a miracle for our opponents and we are hoping there will be a miracle this time too.”

Incidentally, the party has launched a campaign “Dard-e-Banaras” to bring to fore the lack of development in Varanasi, which Modi has been winning for two years in the Lok Sabha.

In addition to this, Congress has also launched a campaign “27 saal UP behal” that highlights how the VIP constituency changed from bad to worse while Congress had been out of power.

Ex-congress member Margaret Alva lashes out at Sonia Gandhi

Sanchita Nambiar

Margaret Alva, the ex-congress party member recently made strong remarks against Sonia Gandhi. In an interview with Karan Thapar, the political veteran said that her revelations about the party’s ticket selling in the 2008 Karnataka elections did not go down too well with the Congress President, thus leading to a conflict between them. Margaret confessed that during elections the tickets were sold at local level which could have been the possible reason for their loss.

“The decision making in the Congress is very centralized,” said Margaret in her interview with India Today. Having previously served as the governor of Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, Margaret’s exit from the Congress party in 2008 was a big news with many conspiracies surrounding it. She has stated that Sonia runs the party arbitrarily and how Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister of India was keen on making Margaret the minister, but was unable to do so because of Sonia Gandhi.

Alva is releasing her new book called Courage and Commitment in which she has talked at length about her experience as a Congress party member and the relationship with Sonia. The dynamic politician has disclosed some crucial information about the VVIP Chopper scam which has been in news from quite some time and Sonia’s relation with P.V. Narsimha Rao has also been highlighted in the book.

Centre notifies Supreme Court on AgustaWestland chargesheet

In the latest development, the centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that a chargesheet in the AgustaWestland scam would be filed this year. A Special Investigation Team had initiated an inquiry into the Rs 3,600-crore scandal reported Scroll.

The report also said that the apex court’s dismissing of a petition filed against the political leaders named in the chopper case including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The PIL spoke about the arrest of the head of the Italian company Finmeccanica on bribe charges and objected that no similar action had been taken against the accused Indians.
The petition quoted- “The scope of the Italian probe will end at the point where the alleged commission money reaches India. The probe will not go into who was paid the money in the Indian establishment…The country that would have benefited from the deal has taken action, while the country which lost money has not done anything,”

Problems for the ex UPA government began when an a court in Italy observed that it displayed “substantial disregard” in coming to a conclusion with regards to the scam – even declining to share important papers in the investigation. It said that there was “reasonable belief” in calling the issue fraudulent.
Twelve helicopters were to be bought from AgustaWestland to be used by top leaders including Dr Singh. The CBI began probing the issue in 2013.

National Herald: Gandhis seek SC intervention

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday moved the Supreme Court to hear their petition against Delhi High Court order of “personal summons”, over their alleged involvement in National Herald Case.

The Delhi High Court on December 7 refused to squash the “personal summon” clause in the order, and further referred the conduct of the accused as “questionable” and stated that a complete investigation should be examined to find out the truth.

The Gandhis were granted bail by the Patiala Court House on December 19, and scheduled the next hearing on February 20. While the Patiala House mandated the presence of the Gandhis during the hearing, their presence will not be required if the apex court decides to squash the order.

Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda, Suman Dubey, are the others who are accused in the case and are requires to be present during the next hearing. The case against the Gandhis and others were filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy over the alleged misappropriation of funds in running the National Herald newspaper.

Source: Economic Times