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Ram Vilas Paswan was efficient administrator, mass leader: Manmohan Singh




Former Prime MInister Manmohan Singh on Friday condoled the death of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan saying he was an efficient administrator who worked closely with him and was a mass leader with a wide popularity.

In his condolence letter to Ram Vilas Paswan’s son, Chirag Paswan, who is an MP from Jamui in Bihar and is the current president of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the former Prime Minister said, “I have learnt with profound sorrow about the passing away of your beloved father. He was an important Dalit leader face in the Central government of many parties.”

Recalling his stint with Ram Vilas Paswan from 2004 to 2014 during the United Progressive Alliance 1 and 2 governments at the Centre, Manmohan Singh said, “I have very warm recollections of my association with him as a member of the UPA government which I led in 2004. The veteran socialist leader was also a very efficient administrator who worked very closely with me as a Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, and also served as Minister in various ministries.”

The veteran Congress leader said Ram Vilas Paswan was a mass leader with a wide popularity, which was evident from the fact that he won Parliament elections with a record majority from his constituency. Singh said, Paswan, was also a leader who was loved and respected by all irrespective of their political leniency.

“In his death, the country has lost one of its greatest Dalit and socialist leaders, who always stood for the cause of poor and downtrodden of the scoiety,” he said.

The LJP founder breathed his last in a private hospital here, where he had been admitted for the last several days and also underwent a heart surgery last weekend. His mortal remains were brought to his residence here at 12 Janpath, where President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other dignitaries paid their last tributes.

Long queues of supporters of the LJP leader were witnessed outside his residence who had come to pay their last respects. His body will be flown to Patna later in the day, where it will be kept at the LJP’s Patna office on Saturday for the party supporters to pay their tributes. His body will be cremated with full state honours on Saturday in Patna.

The national flag was flown at half mast in Delhi and the capitals of all the states and union territories as a mark of respect to Cabinet Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification in this regard on Thursday, saying that the flag would be flown at half mast on the day and at the place where his funeral takes place.

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke to Sachin Pilot: Ajay Maken




Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has spoken to Sachin Pilot, party leader Ajay Maken said this on Friday dispelling rumours that ‘no leader was engaging with Pilot’.

Sources have said that party interim President Sonia Gandhi ‘is likely to intervene’ to resolve the deadlock between the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Pilot.

Ajay Maken Congress General Secretary In-charge of Rajasthan said, “Priyanka Gandhiji and I have spoken to Sachin Pilotji. As he is senior leader of the party and asset, so it’s impossible if he seeks appointment he will be denied, K.C. Venugopal has also spoken to him.”

The MLAs and the Pilot camp in particular have been pressurizing the Congress leadership for cabinet expansion and appointments in board and corporations in Rajasthan. They allege all this is being stalled by the Chief Minister’s camp.

Pilot was in Delhi last week and even toured Uttarakhand to meet his supporters where he attacked the BJP.

Maken had said last week, “Vacant positions in the cabinet, boards and commissions would be filled soon and we are in talks with all.”

He said that all other pending issues will also be taken up.

When asked if senior party leader Sachin Pilot is angry, the former Union Minister said, “I am speaking to Pilotji on a regular basis. If he would have been angry, he would not be speaking to me.”

Pilot has raked up the issue of non-resolution of commitments made to him.

“It has now been 10 months. I was given to understand that there would be swift action by the committee, but now half of the term is done, and those issues haven’t been resolved. It is unfortunate that so many of the party workers who worked and gave their all for getting us the mandate are not being heard,” Pilot had said.

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Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin meets Sonia Gandhi and Rahul




Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday met Congress interim Chief Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi here for the first time after the Assembly poll results were declared on May 2.

Stalin had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The DMK leader along with his wife arrived at the residence of Sonia Gandhi on Friday morning at 10 Janpath.

During the meeting, Rahul Gandhi was also present.

The meeting lasted for over 40 minutes.

Party sources said that the leaders discussed several issues for the development of the state.

After the meeting, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and wrote, “Congress President Sonia Gandhi and I had the pleasure of meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Durgavathy Stalin earlier today. We will keep working with the DMK to build a strong and prosperous state for the Tamil people.”

The Congress had contested the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls in alliance with the DMK.

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Former TDP MLA Philip C. Tocher joins YSRCP




Former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Christian minority leader Philip C. Tocher has joined Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP).

Tocher joined YSRCP in the presence of party founder and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday at his camp office.

The former MLA was accompanied by YSRCP MLC Lella Appi Reddy and party leaders Kathera Suresh and Kathera Henry Christina.

Back in January, Tocher resigned from the TDP, accusing party supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu for his remarks on the Christian community.

He was with TDP since its inception in 1983 and went on to be nominated as the Anglo-Indian MLA during the TDP regime from 2014 to 2019.

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