Posts tagged ‘Rahul Gandhi’

March 6, 2012

Assembly results major blow for Congress, Rahul

New Delhi: Congress leaders admitted they were stunned as results from five state elections showed the party faced defeats in Punjab and Goa and a poor showing in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress was on top in Uttarakhand but short of an outright majority. The only good news came from Manipur, where the Congress was set to sweep and retain power.

Congress leaders quickly rushed to insulate their star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh and general secretary Rahul Gandhi from criticism, saying that a wide variety of factors were to blame for the multiple disaster.

“We are very surprised, we are shocked,” Congress leader and Minister of State for Science and Technology Ashwani Kumar said.

“This calls for very serious reflection and introspection on what went wrong,” he added, disappointment writ large on his face.

“This calls for very serious reflection and introspection on what went wrong,” he added, disappointment writ large on his face.

Congress chief spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi was downcast.

The results in Punjab, where the Akali Dal-BJP combine is set to retain power, a first in the state for any ruling party, were “extremely baffling”, he said.

“I am very disappointed,” he added, commenting on the overall outcome of the February-March polling in Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.

Rajiv Shukla of the Congress struck a different note: “We are not happy but you cannot say it is a pathetic showing.”

Political pundits and opposition activists heaped scorn on the Congress and its leadership.

A Congress source admitted to IANS that the results were “a major blow” and were partly a result of the corruption charges faced by the Congress-led government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“There is no doubt that corruption played a big role in voters’ thinking,” said the source not willing to be identified.

The source said the Congress also blundered by injecting “communal politics” towards the end of campaign in Uttar Pradesh when it promised to reserve special job quotas for Muslims.

Marxist leader Suhasini Ali said the Congress blundered by not projecting anyone as a possible chief minister even as it sought a clear mandate from voters.

“Then the central government’s non-performance and price rise are also factors,” she said. “As for the 22 Congress MPs who won in 2009, they were a huge disappointment for their electorate.”

Sudheendra Kulkarni of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) underlined that there was “a very strong anti-Congress sentiment” in almost all the states that went to the polls.

Congress-turned-Samajwadi Party politician Shahid Siddiqui said the Congress leadership’s “ostrich like attitude” and “refusal to learn” from previous mistakes were major factors.

Minister Ashwani Kumar added: “We (Congress) need to strengthen our organisational structure.”

Apart from Uttar Pradesh, where Rahul Gandhi’s 200-plus election rallies were expected to give the party a major boost, the Congress was also stunned that it was unable to dislodge the Akali-BJP combine in Punjab.

The Congress-led government was expected to be voted out in Goa but was in the reckoning for power in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand, though not in the manner it would have desired.

Insurgency-hit Manipur was its only saving grace, with the Congress-led government getting an emphatic mandate for five more years, decimating a coalition of several opposition parties.

Source: Zee News

July 7, 2011

Rahul’s padyatra: Man with revolver detained

Tappal, Uttar Pradesh: A young man carrying a revolver was detained Thursday while trying to move close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his ‘padayatra’ to Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh.

The man with a 0.32 bore revolver was nabbed by the Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel in this village in Aligarh district when he was found going near the second ring of the Congress leader’s security cordon.

Hari Mohan Sharma was nabbed by the SPG personnel at around 8.30 am and was immediately handed over to the Uttar Pradesh Police. Locals said he belongs to Tappal village and claimed that he is a Congress worker.

The incident took place two hours after Gandhi resumed his footmarch to Aligarh to make common cause with farmers in the state over land acqusition. Today’s is Gandhi’s third day of ‘padayatra’.


July 6, 2011

Rahul Gandhi resumes padyatra

Rahul GandhiTappal, Aligargh: After spending the night in Rampur Badli village, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Wednesday, resumed his foot march (padyatra) to meet farmers affected by land acquisition by the Maywati government.

Gandhi’s march, which stared from Bhatta-Parsual village, yesterday morning, will culminate in “kisan maha panchayat” being held by the party in Aligarh July 9. The party has decided to erect a “non-political” platform for farmers to speak about their problems at the rally, which will be addressed by Gandhi.

Rahul has visited a number of villages, met farmers and tried to know problems being faced by them. He also held ‘Choupals'(informal assembly of people), some of it under the trees on the roadside.

Gandhi’s visit to the area, a direct challenge to the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh ahead of elections next year, comes about two months after he was detained in Bhatta-Parsaul during a visit after the violence in May.

From Rampur Badli, Rahul proceeded to Jewar village and met farmers there and then proceeded further ahead along the route where the Taj Expressway, linking Greater Noida with Agra, is being constructed by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Rahul has visited a number of villages, met farmers and tried to know problems being faced by them. He also held ‘Choupals'(informal assembly of people), some of it under the trees on the roadside.

Yesterday Rahul had dal, roti and vegetable with no chillies for dinner at a famer’s house. A weary-looking Rahul Gandhi opted for rotis over puris, when his host Vijaypal Sharma, a local farmer and Congress supporter, started serving the dinner.

The Congress leader, who walked 19 km on Tuesday, was asked by Sharma’s family members how he was feeling after a tiring schedule. To this he replied, “Thik-thak hain” (I am okay).

He also took quick bath on the terrace of the double-storey house before the dinner, said a Sharma family member.

After the bath, Rahul slipped into a fresh pair of kurta-pyjama and joined his hosts for dinner. He was accompanied by a friend, who the villagers said was being addressed as Kanishka.

The Congress leader, who backed the India-US nuclear deal in Parliament saying that the country needed more power, had a first-hand taste of the reality in rural areas when there was a power outage in the village.

The host and his family members swiftly arranged a genset to ensure their VIP guest was not put to discomfort. After the hard day’s work, the 41-year-old politician hit his bed on the terrace under the sky.

Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said Gandhi was visiting areas where atrocities had been committed against farmers.

Digvijay Singh, who is in-charge of UP, said, “Rahul’s padyatra is an attempt to know the real problems being faced by the farmers affected due to land acquisition. As the Centre will be amending Land Acquisition Act, he will be giving suggestions on certain points about that.”

Opposition calls it “political drama”

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed Gandhi’s march as a “political drama” and accused him of following “two standards” of compassion and wondered why he did not express similar sentiments after the police crackdown in the capital on supporters of Ramdev.

“It is a political drama. You can call it as a political stunt. Beyond that it is nothing,” senior party leader Rajnath Singh said. He said since 2007, Congress has been “sitting” on the Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill.

“If it wants to help the cause of the farmers, it should bring the bill. BJP has already stated that it will support amendments aimed at benefiting the farmers and help the passage of the bill in both houses of Parliament,” he said.

The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party issued a statement, on behalf of Chief Minister Mayawati, warning that her party would disrupt the proceedings of Parliament if the Congress fails to introduce the amendment bill on land acquisition during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The BSP release also challenged Gandhi to cite one example of a Congress-ruled state where the land-acquisition policy was more farmer-friendly than in Uttar Pradesh.