Media Eye News Bureau: Congress President Rahul Gandhi dissolved its Central Working Committee (CWC), and formed a 34-member Steering Committee to replace it for the upcoming plenary session. All CWC members are part of the new committee; however some of the permanent invitees like Amarinder Singh, Vilas Muttemwar, RK Dhawan, Shivajirao Deshmukh, MV Rajasekharan and Mohsina Kidwai, among others have been dropped. The Steering Committee is set to shortly decide its schedule for the plenary session. The committee will function till the plenary session, after which a new CWC will be put in place and the new members for the same will be elected either at the plenary or after it. The Steering Committee includes the party president and CPP chairperson Sonia Gandhi, besides former prime minister Manmohan Singh. It also includes party leaders A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwivedi, Ashok Gehlot, Sushilkumar Shinde, P Chidambaram, Oscar Fernandes, Anand Sharma, CP Joshi, Digvijay Singh, BK Hari Prasad, Kamal Nath, Mallikarjun Kharge, Motilal Vora, Hemo Prova Saikia and Randeep Surjewala. Leaders PL Punia, RPN Singh, Deepak Babariya, RC Khuntia, KC Venugopal and Avinash Pande are included in the new committee as well.
Media Eye News Bureau: Congress MP and author Shashi Tharoor recently criticised the BJP for trying to appropriate Swami Vivekananda as he said that they projected Vivekananda in a “blasphemous” way. He said, “Frankly, the way in which the BJP projects Vivekananda is completely ill-founded. In fact, it is not based on close, or even a casual reading of everything that Vivekananda said.” During a panel discussion at the event of his book release Why I am A Hindu, moderator Rajdeep Sardesai asked Tharoor about him quoting and citing Vivekannada generously in his book which explores the philosophy of Hinduism as well as the politicisation of the faith by a group specifically in the context of leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi citing Vivekananda, to which he said, “Yes, the only difference is that I have actually read him (Vivekananda).”
Media Eye News Bureau: PM Narendra Modi recently accused the Congress and Left parties of having a secret pact of sorts for the February 18 Tripura Assembly polls. He said, “Congress and Left parties like in Kerala and West Bengal have a secret deal for the Tripura polls. To change the future of Tripura, reject the two parties and vote for BJP. Both parties destroyed Tripura. Do not trust them. By putting up candidates in the elections, Congress is doing drama in Tripura though both the Congress and Left parties have 'dosti' (friendship) in Delhi.” The PM also accused the Congress for helping the CPM to win the polls and urged people to uproot the Left parties from Tripura. He also asserted that the Rose valley chit fund organisation had taken off with several thousand crore of rupees of 14 lakh Tripura people and accused the Left Front government of not having properly probed the scam for which he said that, “After assuming power (in Tripura), the BJP government will inquire into the robbing of huge sums of poor people's money.”
Media Eye News Bureau: Congress leader Anand Sharma took a jibe at the BJP vision document for Meghalaya recently. The document had promised 2 lakh jobs for the youths and pensions for daily wage labourers. Speaking of the same, Sharma asserted that the BJP ‘are good in selling dreams.’ He said, “I was told BJP has released its vision document, it has promise the sun, the moon and the stars, but we have no quarrel they can promise more because they are nationally known now for selling dreams, making false promises and betraying the mandate and people.” Sharma added, “I charge PM and his government in Delhi for having destroyed jobs and not in thousands but in millions and tens of millions particularly the demonetization where none of four objectives were made - black money, terror funding and counterfeit- and another decision which led to loss of jobs, businesses is the flawed GST implementation.”
Media Eye News Bureau: The Congress released a satirical video on Valentine’s Day to wish the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion. The video took a sarcastic jibe at the PM and urged him to “spread more love” and not “Jumlas,” as well as advised him on listening to the 'Mann ki Baat' of the people. The video also showed a clip of PM Modi during the election campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha polls when he had promised that if black money is returned to the country, bank accounts of every poor person will be credited with at least 15-20 lakh rupees and also attacked the implementation of demonetisation scheme, when the Prime Minister had said that demonetization will help in fighting black money, counterfeited currency, terrorism and corruption with a caption that read, “Make promises that you can keep.”
Media Eye News Bureau: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal did an accounting of his pre-poll promises and the achievements of his government after completing three years in power and blamed what was unachieved or delayed on the centre and the lieutenant governor of Delhi. At an event to mark the third anniversary of the Aam Aadmi Party government, the CM made an appeal to the central government, “Send us all to jail but clear our files.” Kejriwal also triumphantly stated that his government was a survivor against all odds as he said, “Ab sarkar imaandar ho toh sab kuch ho sakta hai.” Kejriwal accused the centre and the lieutenant governor of slowing the pace of work in the state. He said, “They have troubled us a lot. I challenge anyone with the kind of problems we faced to even try to routinely run the city. We have managed to achieve all these despite the huge odds. They stall all files. Some 400 files of the state were summoned by the LG’s office for scrutiny by a monitoring committee in 2016. They found nothing. All files were sent back. I challenge them, give us your files for four days and then we will show you.” Speaking of the centre he said, “They carried out a CBI raid on my office and another raid at the house of Satyendar Jain. There are four cases against Manish Sisodia, there are around eight cases against Jain. Around 15 of our MLAs were put in jail, all on false charges. I only have one request: put us all in jail but don’t trouble the people of Delhi. All this is affecting development of Delhi. Please don’t stall the files.”
Media Eye News Bureau: The Congress recently accused the NDA government for its ‘flip-flop’ and ‘non-existent’ policy on Pakistan which according to them led to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. They stated that the time had come to act against terrorism being sponsored from across the border. Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “PDP says ‘talks’ with Pakistan. BJP Defence Minister says ‘Pakistan will pay the price’. While our soldiers pay with their blood for BJP/PDP’s opportunistic alliance and non-existent Kashmir policy; Modi Ji dithers.” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “We would like to ask the BJP at the national level because this has very profound national security implications where do they stand on the statement of the chief minister that we should be talking to Pakistan. It is a very disturbing situation which has evolved in J&K.” He added, “What transpired between 2014 May and 2018 February -suffice to say that it has been a story of U-turns, flip-flops and somersaults.” Tewari also questioned, “When will the time of talking about terror be over and when will you start acting on terror?”
Media Eye News Bureau: The BJP recently criticised what they dubbed as Rahul Gandhi's “temple run” in a poll-bound Karnataka and accused him of practising “soft Hindutva.” BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar said, “They are now on temple spree. Now their advertisements are also in saffron. Earlier they were pseudo-secularists, now they are pseudo-Hinduism. People understand which is election gimmick and which is true devotion.” He added, “Congress President Rahul Gandhi is in Karnataka, we welcome him because wherever he goes for election campaign, Congress loses and BJP wins.” Rahul Gandhi however asserted, “I like going to temples, wherever I find a religious place. I go there. I feel good and feel happy, and I will continue (to go).”
Media Eye News Bureau: Congress President Rahul Gandhi asked Prime Minister Modi to stop giving speeches on the past and start working hinting at Modi delving into the past to attack the Congress rather than accounting for his performance and stated that the PM did not have much time before completing his term. He said, “You will have to tell the country during the elections what you did in the last five years. It is going to be five years and you have not even opened your account.” Further he said, “BJP failed to create jobs, bring back black money and brought down the economy, but all PM Modi talks about is Congress is this, Congress is that.” He added that the country had appointed Modi as Prime Minister to provide employment to youth, to help farmers, to establish schools and hospitals and not to talk about Congress party while stating, “Modi ji stop giving speeches and start working, because you don't have much time.” “Modi likes to refer to Basavanna, who had said work is divine, but he does not follow that dictum and only talks,” Gandhi said of Modi who often quoted the 12th century philosopher and the founder of the Lingayat sect. According to Gandhi, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah agreed to waive farm loans but the Modi government had refused to do so and alleged that the Modi government works only for the rich and urged the PM to waive the loans.
Rahul Gandhi shared a speech by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Twitter in which he had lauded Jawaharlal Nehru's contribution and also thanked the BJP leader for ‘speaking out the truth.’ He tweeted, “Thank you Rajnath Singh ji for speaking the truth to power. Satyamev Jayate.” The speech was made on November 14, 2015, in which Rajnath Singh had said that Nehru was one of the leaders who participated in the freedom struggle and had also worked towards strengthening the democracy in the country. The tweet comes after PM Modi, in his reply to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks on the president’s address, had targeted the Nehru-Gandhi family and criticised a remark that the country got democracy due its first PM Nehru. He said, “How can one of the leaders say India got democracy due to Pandit Nehru and Congress Party? Is this their reading of India's history? What arrogance is this.”