NEW DELHI: Newly appointed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to make an official entry into politics with a roadshow in Lucknow on February 11. Priyanka met Congress chief and her brother Rahul at his Tuglak Road residence. Priyanka, who was abroad when she was appointed to the party post on January 23, returned to the national capital.
In the meeting between Rahul and Priyanka, Congress general secretary for UP West Jyotiraditya Scindia was also present. Scindia had spearheaded the party’s campaign in Madhya Pradesh to dislodge the 15-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state in the Assembly elections held in December 2018.
Priyanka is likely to visit Lucknow for the first time after becoming the General Secretary and meet office-bearers and workers at the party headquarters.
Priyanka has been assigned the room next to Rahul at the party headquarters on Akbar Road in Delhi. She will attend the first official meeting of the Congress party after assuming the new role on Thursday. The meeting of all general secretaries and in-charges of various states has been convened by Rahul to plan the strategy for the Lok Sabha election due in April-May.
Rahul has also called a meeting of state chiefs and Congress Legislature Party leaders on Saturday in the national capital to review preparedness for the general election.
This is the first time that Priyanka has been given a post in the party and will be officially involved in the campaigning. Up till now, Priyanka’s involvement with the party was limited to campaigning in Rae Bareli and Amethi Lok Sabha constituencies represented by her mother Sonia Gandhi and Rahul respectively.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.