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Friday,03-December-2021

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Rahul Gandhi arrives in Wayanad for 2-day visit

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With the Congress high command now becoming the last word in party affairs in Kerala with the once powerful faction leaders like veteran Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala being sidelined, on Monday Rahul Gandhi arrived on a two-day trip to his Wayanad constituency.

Hitherto on most occasions, the entire top brass of the Congress leaders would be present to receive him, but on Monday it was just the Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan and Kozhikode party MP M.K. Raghavan who were present.

In the past those who were present included Chandy, Chennithala, Mullapally Ramachandran and many others.

The present impasse in the party began last week, when in finalising the list of District Congress Committee (DCC) chiefs and to reconstitute the party’s apex organisational body, veterans like Chandy, Chennithala, Ramachandran and V.M. Sudheeran were ignored and it was done by Satheesan and new state party president K. Sudhakaran in consultation with now strongman in the party K.C. Venugopal by virtue of being the AICC general secretary-Organisation.

All those leaders who were side stepped according to sources have expressed their displeasure to AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said in the Congress party in Kerala what one has seen is no leader has been able to be the last and final word in the party for ever.

“Look at K. Karunakaran, in fact at his peak he was the most powerful leader in the party and was the last word, but since the turn of the present century, Chandy and Chennithala took over and after the April 6 drubbing at the assembly elections, these two leaders have lost their grip as their close aides have started moving towards where the power is centred and presently it’s Satheesan, Sudhakaran and not to mention Venugopal. So all what you see is nothing new,” said the critic.

Chandy, Chennithala, Satheesan and Sudhakaran all were in Delhi in the recent past as part of finalising the office bearers and sources in the know of things revealed that both Chandy and Chennithala expressed their displeasure to Sonia Gandhi in a letter about the manner things are churning out.

But Satheesan told the media on Monday that he is not at all aware of any leader from here expressing any sort of displeasure.

“I am not aware of any such things. There was a time schedule and we were asked to do our part and we did it and submitted it before August 15,” said Satheesan.

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Punjabi singer Moosewala joins Congress

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Famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, who was booked on charges of promoting violence and gun culture in a song, on Friday joined the Congress ahead of the Assembly polls in Punjab.

He joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and State Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu.

During the induction ceremony, Sidhu described Moosewala as a youth icon.

“Sidhu Moosewala is joining our family. I welcome him in the Congress fold,” Sidhu told the media.

Describing Moosewala as a “big artiste”, Channi said with his sheer hard work, he has won the hearts of millions of people.

Moosewala, whose real name is Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, is known for his hit Punjabi tracks like ‘Legend’, ‘Devil’, ‘Just listen’, ‘Jatt da Muqabala’ and ‘Hathyar’, among many others.

His name also featured in the Billboard Canadian Albums in 2018.

“I am not entering politics for status or to earn praise. I want to become a part of the system to transform it. I am joining the Congress to raise the voice of the people. I am joining the Congress as the party has leaders who have come from common families,” Moosewala said.

He said he is still living in the same house in his village. His father is an ex-serviceman and his mother is a sarpanch. “Residents of my area have expectations from me,” he added.

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‘MLA not a govt servant’, Kerala HC cancels appointment of late leader’s son

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS)

In a stinging blow to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had given a government job to the son of late CPI-M MLA K.K. Ramachandran Nair, the Kerala High Court on Friday ruled that a ‘legislator is not a government servant’ and cancelled the appointment.

Nair, a first time legislator after being elected from the Chenganoor Assembly constituency in the 2016 Assembly polls, passed away in 2018 following health issues.

Vijayan, in a surprise decision, decided to appoint Nair’s son R.Prasanth as an assistant engineer in the Public Works Department, which led to a huge criticism from several quarters.

However, a petitioner from Palakkad, Ashok Kumar filed a plea in this regard at the High Court and on Friday a division bench chaired by the Chief Justice S. Manikumar ruled that an ‘MLA is not a government servant as they have an elected term of only five years, and hence a government job under the dying in harness mode is not applicable and cancelled the appointment.

Incidentally, this judgement comes at a time when a petition is before the Lokayukta after Vijayan sanctioned a substantial sum of money from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to clear off the debts of Nair.

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SP’s ‘Vijay Rath Yatra’ in Jhansi, Akhilesh to address public rallies at 9 places

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 Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is taking out a ‘Vijay Rath Yatra’ in Jhansi on Friday, with the focus on Bundelkhand and will also hold public rallies at nine places.

As per information, the yatra will traverse through Laxmi Garden, Elite Square, Jail Square, Court Square, Kunj Vatika Marriage Hall, Mandi Tiraha, University Gate, Medical College Gate, Medical Bypass Tiraha, where he will be welcomed by the party workers.

After this, he will address public gatherings at Mahant Laxman Das Kanya Inter College in Baragaon, Rashtrakavi Maithilisharan Gupt Mahavidyalaya in Chirgaon and Tika Ram Kanya Mahavidyalaya.

Earlier, in Lalitpur, Akhilesh accused the BJP of “fooling” the people. He raised the farmers’ issue and said that only a family man can understand the pain of a family member.

In Bundelkhand, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Banda and Chitrakoot comprise a division (mandal). Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalon is another division. There are seven districts and 19 Assembly seats in the area.

For Akhilesh, Bundelkhand remains a major challenge because the BJP has a strong hold in the area and it had won all the 19 Assembly seats in the region.

In the 2019 Assembly elections, the BJP wiped out the SP, BSP and Congress in the region.

The SP is busy in stitching together alliances with small parties to give a tough fight to the saffron party.

On October 13, Akhilesh had launched his ‘Vijay Rath Yatra’ as part of the 2022 UP Assembly election campaign.

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