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I lost my Father I’ll not lose my country – Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi started Bharat Jodo Yatra with a visit to his father and former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur, where the former Prime Minister was killed in a suicide attack on May 21, 1991. Yatra is all set to start At 4.30 pm today, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin will hand over the National Flag to Rahul Gandhi to mark the beginning of the Yatra. The same flag will be used for the entire stretch of the yatra.

Yatra will cover 12 states and 2 union territories. 59 trucks with customized containers mounted on their back. These containers will provide sleep pods and other facilities for 118 Bharat Yatris who would accompany Rahul Gandhi in the entire stretch of the Yatra.

“India is the institutions that protect this flag. India is free media that protects this flag. India is a judiciary that protects this flag. And today every single one of our institutions is under attack by BJP, RSS. They think this flag is their personal property. They think they can determine single-handedly the future of this people, state of this country,” Rahul Gandhi said in his address.

“We were instructed about the kind of discipline and behaviour that are expected from the yatris, the respect we should show to all religions, all languages,” says Sunkara Padamshree, 47, an All India Congress Committee member from Andhra Pradesh. Sunkara will accompany Rahul Gandhi in the entire yatra.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin handed over the flag to Rahul Gandhi in Kanyakumari which he will carry till the end of the Yatra. The Yatra will start on 7th September from Kanyakumari; pass through 12 states and culminate in Jammu and Kashmir – spanning a distance of nearly 3,500 Km over the course of about 150 days.

MK Stalin in Twitter wrote Today, my brother @RahulGandhi has begun a journey to retrieve India’s soul, to uphold the lofty ideals of our republic and to unite our country’s people with love. There can be no better place than Kumari, where the Statue of Equality stands tall, to start #BharatJodoYatra.

Featured National Politics Politics

Rahul Gandhi demolished Congress party Ghulam Nabi Azad quits

Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Union minister, quit the party today calling out Rahul Gandhi for “immaturity” and for “demolishing the consultative mechanism” in the party. In an explosive letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said he has resigned from all positions and the primary membership of the Congress.

Rahul Gandhi insulted all senior party members

Azad said the situation has only worsened since the 2019 elections after Rahul Gandhi stepped down in a huff and not before insulting all the senior party functionaries who have given their lives to the party. The remote control model that destroyed the UPA got applied to Congress

Ghulam Nabi Azad Letter to Sonia

I joined the Indian National Congress in Jammu & Kashmir in the mid-1970s when it was still taboo to be associated with the party given its chequered history in the state from 8′” August 1953 onwards — the arrest of Sheikh Mohammad
Abdullah is the nadir of its political myopia. Inspired from my student days by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, and other leading lights of our freedom struggle. Subsequently at the personal insistence of Late Sh Sanjay Gandhi | agreed to shoulder the responsibility of the Presidentship of the Jammu & Kashmir Youth Congress in 1975-76. I was already serving the Indian National Congress as aBlock General Secretary from 1973-1975 after completing my post-graduation from Kashmir University, Azad mentioned in the letter.

Ghulam Nabi Azad Letter

During the period from 1977 onwards as General Secretary of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) led by Late Shri Sanjay Gandhi we went from jail to jail along with thousands of Youth Congress leaders and workers. My longest period in
Tihar jail was from 20″ December 1978 to the end of January 1979, for leading a protest rally against the arrest of Mrs. Indira Gandhi from Jama Masjid Delhi to Parliament House. We opposed the Janata Party dispensation and paved the way for the revival and rejuvenation of the party founded by the Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi in the January of 1978. Within three years as a consequence of that heroic struggle the Indian National Congress stormed back into power in 1980.

After the tragic death of a youth icon, I took over as the National President of IYC in 1980. As President, I had the privilege of inducting your husband Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi into the Indian Youth Congress as a Member of the National
Council on the first death anniversary of Late Shri Sanjay Gandhi on 23″ June . Subsequently, Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi took over the leadership of the IYC in a Special Session of IYC held in Bangalore on 29″ & 30″ December of that
year (1981) again under my Presidentship.

I have had the honor of serving as a Union Minister in Late Smt. Indira Gandhi’s, Late Sh Rajiv Gandhi’s, Late Sh. PV Narasimha Rao’s and Dr. Manmohan Singh’s governments respectively from 1982 till 2014. I have also had the opportunity of serving as a General Secretary in the AICC with every President of the Indian national Congress since the mid-1980s.

Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Jammu Kashmir Congress campaign

I was a Member of the Congress Parliamentary Board headed by your late husband and then Congress President Sh. Rajiv Gandhi till his tragic assassination in May 1991 and later with Sh PV Narasimha Rao till the latter decided not to reconstitute the Congress Parliamentary Board in October 1992.

| have also been a Member of the Congress Working Committee continuously for nearly four decades both in an elected and a nominated capacity. I have been the AICC General Secretary Incharge of every state and Union Territory of the country at one point of time or the other over the last thirty-five years. I am happy to state that INC won 90% of the states that I was in charge from time to time.

I am recounting all these years of selfless service just to underscore my life long association with this great institution that I also served recently as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha for 7 years. I have spent every working moment of my adult life in the service of the Indian National Congress at the cost
of my health and family.

While undoubtedly as the President of the Indian National Congress you played a sterling role in the formation of both the UPA -1 and UPA-2 government’s. However, one of the major reasons for this success was that as President you heeded the wise counsel of senior leaders, besides trusting their judgement and delegating powers to them.

However unfortunately after the entry of Shri Rahul Gandhi into politics and particularly after January 2013 when he was appointed as Vice President by you, the entire Consultative mechanism which existed earlier was demolished by him.

All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined and new coterie of inexperienced sycophants started running the affairs of the Party.

One of the most glaring examples of this immaturity was the tearing up of a government ordinance in the full glare of the media by Shri Rahul Gandhi. The said ordinance was incubated in the Congress Core Group and subsequently unanimously approved by the Union Cabinet presided over by the Prime Minister of India and duly approved even by the President of India. This ‘childish’ behavior completely subverted the authority of the Prime Minister and Government of India. This one single action more than anything else contributed significantly to the defeat of the UPA Government in 2014 that was at the receiving end of a campaign of calumny and insinuation from a combination of the forces of the right wing and certain unscrupulous corporate interests.

“Worse still the ‘remote control model’ that demolished the institutional integrity
of the UPA government now got applied to the Indian National Congress. While
you are just a nominal figurehead all the important decisions were being taken
by Shri Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guard’s and PA’s.”

— Ghulam Nabi Azad

Azad’s resignation comes months after another key member of G-23 Kapil Sibal snapped his ties with the party and crossed over to the Samajwadi Party camp, adding to the mounting list of crossovers in recent months and amplifying the perception of negativity about the grand old party.

Azad was the Union Health Minister during UPA-2 era. In June 2014, after the National Democratic Alliance won a majority in the Lok Sabha and formed the Union government, Azad was appointed as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

National Politics

Gadkari, Chouhan dropped from BJP parliamentary board and Yediyurappa joins

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from its parliamentary board, its apex organizational body, and brought in six new members, including Karnataka leader B S Yediyurappa and Iqbal Singh Lalpura, the first Sikh representative.

Nitin Gadkari and Shivraj Singh Chouhan are out of the board

The party also rejigged its Central Election Committee (CEC) and named Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Bhupender Yadav among its new members. Gadkari and Chouhan ceased to be CEC members after their ouster from the board. All parliamentary board members, which include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, and BJP president J P Nadda, automatically become part of the CEC, which has some additional members as well.

The other new board members are K Laxman, Sudha Yadav, and Satyanarayan Jatiya, three old party faithful but considered political lightweights. The omission of former BJP president Gadkari (65), considered close to the RSS, and Chouhan (63) marks their diminishing stock within the party which has tried to make its key organizational bodies more socially and regionally representative by inducting members of different communities, including former cop and Punjab leader Lalpura, currently the chairman of the National Commission for Minorities.

Former Union ministers Jual Oram and Shahnawaz Hussain have been dropped from the CEC. After these changes, the board now has the full strength of 11 members while the CEC has 15 leaders. The new entrants to the CEC are Rajasthan leader Om Mathur and BJP women wing chief Vanathi Srinivasan besides Fadnavis and Bhupender Yadav. Srinivasan replaces her predecessor Vijaya Rahatkar as the party’s ‘Mahila Morcha’ chief as its an ex-officio member.

With Chouhan gone, there will be no chief minister on the board. There was speculation that Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath may make an entry. Union minister Piyush Goyal, who is also the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Bhupender Yadav were also seen as contenders. Yadav, though, is in the CEC now.

Both Yediyurappa and Jatiya are over 75 years of age, an informal age bar within the party for holding important posts as it has gone all out to reduce the average age of its organizational leaders.

Yeddyurappa Opens up about the Parliamentary board

Yediyurappa’s inclusion highlights the party’s efforts to reward the Lingayat leader whose community is critical to its poll prospects in the Karnataka assembly election slated for the next year. He was replaced by Basavaraj Bommai as chief minister in 2021. Bommai met to congratulate him after the announcement.

Fadnavis’ induction into the CEC is seen as a nod to his importance after the former Maharashtra CM was asked by the party to become the deputy chief minister in the Eknath Shinde-led government, a position for which he was initially reluctant.

This is the first time the board has been rejigged under Nadda, who took over as the party president in 2020. The board had several vacancies caused by the death of Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj while Venkaiah Naidu and Thaawarchand Gehlot had to leave it after becoming Vice President and state governor respectively.

When Shah was the party president, veteran leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were eased out of the crucial party body in 2014 and made members of ‘Margdarshak Mandal’, as the party on Modi’s watch worked to make the organization and government more youthful. Among the new board members, Sudha Yadav and Laxman are from the Other Backward Classes while former Union minister Jatia is from the Scheduled Castes. Sonowal is tribal.

Party sources said the exercise shows how the party “rewards” old workers and values their experience. Yediyurappa, Jatia, and Laxman have given their lives to the party, building it brick by brick from the start, they said.

“There is also an emphasis on diversity. Sonowal is from the Northeast and Laxman and Yediyurappa hail from the South. In Lalpura, there is a Sikh representing minorities,” a leader said. He described Sudha Yadav as a self-made political leader whose husband was martyred in Kargil.

National Politics

Ghulam Nabi Azad quits Jammu Kashmir Congress campaign

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday resigned from the post of chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress campaign committee hours after his appointment.

According to sources, Azad has refused to assume the post of Campaign Committee chairman of Jammu and Kashmir due to health reasons. He has conveyed this to the Congress leadership and has also thanked the leadership for giving him the responsibility.

The development came after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday appointed Vikar Rasool Wani as the party’s Jammu Kashmir unit president and Raman Bhalla as working president. Earlier, The Jammu KashmirCongress president post was held by Ghulam Ahmed Mir, who is believed to be a close aide of Azad.

Sonia Gandhi’s Reaction to Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Decision

Sonia Gandhi accepted the resignation of Mir from the post of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president. Congress on Tuesday constituted the campaign committee, political affairs committee, coordination committee, manifesto committee, publicity, and publication committee, disciplinary committee, and Pradesh election committee for Jammu and Kashmir.

The campaign committee was formed constituting 11 members with Azad as the chairman and Tariq Hamid Karra as vice chairman. Further, the committee includes the PCC president and working president as permanent invitees while G M Saroori has been made the convenor.
However, the reshuffle in the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit is believed to have angered many leaders.

Former Congress MLA Gulzar Ahmad Wani stepped down from the coordination committee as a mark of protest against the appointment of the PCC chief in Jammu Kashmir.

I have resigned from Congress coordination committee in J-K as a protest against the recent appointment of PCC chief in UT. The decision is not in favor of the party,

Former Congress MLA Gulzar Ahmad Wani

Another leader and former MLA resigned from the committee soon after its formation.
“We are unhappy as senior leaders were not consulted before taking a decision on Jammu Kashmir PCC chief. We have resigned from the party’s coordination committee as a protest against the recent announcements of the PCC chief. I have resigned from Congress’ primary membership,” said Former Congress MLA Haji Abdul Rashid Dar.

Pertinent to mention here, Ghulam Nabi Azad is one of the groups of 23 leaders who were vocal about leadership change in Congress.

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