Sonia named chairperson of Cong campaign panel for LS polls

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  1. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Sonia named chairperson of Cong campaign panel for LS polls, Rahul vice-chairman - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been made the chairperson of the party's 50-member Campaign Committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in which Rahul Gandhi will be the co-chairman, the party announced on Tuesday.

    The announcement came less than a month after the Congress had said that Rahul, the party vice president, will lead its campaign in the upcoming general elections due in May.

    The announcement regarding the posts to be held by Sonia and Rahul in the committee was made in a statement released to the press by AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be a member of the committee along with several Union ministers.

    "This meeting of the AICC declares that 2014 election campaign will be led by Rahul Gandhi," a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on January 16 this year had said.

    This decision which laid to rest speculation on whether Rahul will be the made the Congrress' prime ministerial candidate was incorporated in the omnibus draft resolution which later came up before the AICC meeting the next day for approval.

    It was taken at the two-hour meeting of the extended CWC notwithstanding an overwhelming demand for anointing Rahul as the PM nominee ahead of the polls.

    However, Congress leaders have also been maintaining thereafter that Rahul's position in the party is number two after Sonia and that the party will be led by the Congress President and the Congress vice-president in the next polls.

    No chief minister, PCC chief or CLP leader figures in committee.

    Senior ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh; former chief ministers Sheila Dikshit and Ashok Gehlot and senior party leaders Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Janardan Dwivedi, Madhusudan Mistri, Digvijay Singh, Ambika Soni and B K Hariprasad are among the members of the committee.

    Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, V Narayanasamy, Jitender Singh, Rajeev Shukla, Manish Tewari and J D Seelam also figure in the list.


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    2014 Lok Sabha polls: Sonia Gandhi to chair 50-member Congress campaign committee

    New Delhi: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will head a 50-member congress campaign committee for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as per reports on Tuesday.

    Manmohan Singh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Rahul Gandhi, AK Antony and P Chidambaram are said to be part of the committee.

    The Lok Sabha polls will most likely be held in the month of April and May and the new government is expected to be formed by the end of May.

    The main Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party has declared Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming polls. The announcement was made by party president Rajnath Singh in September last year.

    However, the Congress refrained from naming vice president Rahul Gandhi as its PM candidate, even though there was calmour amongst party's cadres to do so. The Congress while saying that Rahul would be leading the election campaign in 2014, maintained that if they party was in the position to form the government after the elections, then the elected MPs would decide as to who their PM would be.

    Meanwhile, Modi has been traveling across the country, addressing rallies and taking on the Congress-led UPA government on the issues of non-governance and corruption. With the Congress hit by allegations of scams, price-rise, inflation and policy-paralysis, the BJP is hoping to ride on the wave of anti-incumbency and come back to power at the Centre after a decade. It is also hoping that the so-called Modi-wave will help them cross the finishing line and reach the magical figure of 271.


    First Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 22:23
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Sonia Gandhi to kickstart Lok Sabha campaign in Kerala | NDTV.com

    Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Sonia Gandhi will kickstart the election campaign of the Congress-led UDF in Kochi on Saturday.

    Addressing his first press conference after taking over as president of the Congress in the state, V.M. Sudheeran said his first priority would be to see that his party was battle ready for the Lok Sabha polls.

    "My first programme will be a special convention to be addressed by Sonia Gandhi Saturday. It will mark the launch of our Lok Sabha campaign," the 65-year-old said.

    Mr Sudheeran has succeeded Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, who headed the Congress in Kerala for close to nine years.
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Cong to finalise candidates for the Central Election Committee on Thursday | The Indian Express

    Faced with a tough Lok Sabha election, Congress will begin the exercise of finalisation of its candidates tomorrow with the first meeting of the Central Election Committee. The panel, chaired by President Sonia Gandhi as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi as its members, will decide candidates for a number of seats where the processes have been completed.

    Early finalisation of candidates for elections was a key recommendation of the A K Antony Committee, which Rahul Gandhi is keen to implement in the upcoming general elections in April-May. The party plans to finalise most of the candidates by this month-end. Party sources said, meetings of central screening committees for several states have already been held to shortlist the candidates, setting the stage for taking the selection exercise into a higher gear.

    A meeting of the screening committee of Maharashtra was held on Wednesday after Congress and NCP finalised seat-sharing for the state. Meetings of the election committees in the states have concluded last month and several Pradesh election committees passed one-line resolution authorising Sonia Gandhi Rahul to finalise the nominees. Candidate selection process has been fast-tracked this time unlike in recent decades when the nominees were finalised at the last minute.

    Since Lok Sabha elections are to be held in April-May, the decision will give at least two months time to the candidates to prepare for the elections. The candidate selection exercise was made pro-active by the party after the AICC meeting on January 17. Sources said Rahul is keen that candidates are given sufficient time to prepare for the elections. The Antony panel, entrusted with the task of drawing up an action plan for the party for assembly and Lok Sabha polls a few years ago, had recommended that the candidates should be declared at least a few months ahead of the elections.

    Efforts to implement the recommendation were made many times, including in recent Madhya Pradesh assembly polls. However, it could not be done owing to an intense rivalry over ticket distribution in the party as well as some apprehension that this could lead to rebel candidates putting up their candidature and getting time to prepare for elections.

    One of the reasons for the defeat of the party in Madhya Pradesh assembly elections this time has also been attributed to quite late declaration of candidates. Some 50-odd observers, mainly MPs or former MPs, selected by AICC after intense scrutiny, have already prepared a separate list of candidates after visiting all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. Criteria like denial of tickets to those who have successively tasted two electoral defeats or lost their deposits in the last poll have also been put in place.
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Cong launches hunt for ‘yuva’ leaders for 15-20 seats in UP | The Indian Express

    Projecting itself as the party with “yuva soch” and aiming to tap youngsters, especially the new voters, the Youth Congress and state Congress in Uttar Pradesh are now looking for “young” and “winnable” candidates for at least 15-20 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The state has 80 Lok Sabha constituencies.

    The party aims to field “young candidates”, who are mainly leaders of Youth Congress, or NSUI, young professionals or young social workers between the age group of 25-43 years.

    Sources said, the party is considering to field about 80-100 such “young” candidates across the country. In UP, it aims to field such candidates from seats where the party does not have a strong base.

    Youth Congress volunteers were given the task of conducting survey to identify such seats and after several rounds of screening committee meetings over past few days in Delhi, 15-20 such seats have been identified in UP.

    “Over 200 applications had come from different states, out of which about 100 were found eligible including about 20 from UP.

    Youth congress volunteers are now conducting survey about acceptability of these probable candidates among the locals,” said a senior leader.

    “Even in 2012 assembly elections in the state, young candidates came up with better results than the outsiders, who were brought from other political parties in the name of winnability. Thus, party has given us the task of conducting survey on probable young candidates, who can be fielded from the state,” said Ankit Parihar, president of Central Zone of Youth Congress, who is also part of the state screening committee of the party as “Youth Congress representative”.

    Citing example of candidates with Youth Congress background, who were able to make it to UP Assembly in 2012, he said, “Lalitesh Pati Tripathi (Mirzapur), Ajay Kumar (Kushinagar), Nadeem Jawed (Jaunpur) and Mukesh Srivastava (Bahraich) are some young faces who were elected MLAs.”

    A senior party leader said the experiment of bring in outsiders in 2012 assembly election failed to give the desired results. “Thus there is no harm in trying our luck on young candidates, who are long associated with our own party and have the capability as well. The final decision on these seats is likely to be made by second week of March,” he said.
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Sonia to address INTUC rally - The Hindu


    2.5 lakh members to attend

    The State president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress, R. Chandrashekaran, has said that 2.5 lakh INTUC members from all over the State will take part in a rally here on Saturday to herald its all-India working committee meeting to be held here on February 17 and 18. All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi will address the rally at Asramam maidan here at 4.30 p.m. that day.

    Mr. Chandrashekaran said the rally would commence from the maidan at 1.30 p.m. and return there by 4 p.m. after passing through Sankar Hospital Junction, Chinnakada, Chamakada, and Taluk Office Junction.

    About 1,500 volunteers from the INTUC youth wing would guide the rally.

    Mr. Chandrashekaran said the INTUC had been demanding that the benefits of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme be passed on to workers of the traditional sector too.

    Earlier the INTUC had planned the meeting, to be addressed by Ms. Gandhi, on the Kollam beach. But the site was not approved by the Special Protection Group for security reasons.

    Hence the venue was shifted to the maidan.
     
  8. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    Post LS elections Sonia will be the empress, who will preside over ruins
    Her party is in shambles
    Her son is slipping
    Loyalists deserting like rats from a sinking ship
    Opposition baying for her blood
    Her ill gotten wealth in Swiss Alps in danger of full exposure
    Her son in law being hounded by Maharani & her Govt
    Not the best of times for a total eclipse of the oldest political party
     
  9. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Idea of secular India under threat: Sonia Gandhi in Kerala

    Kochi: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday kicked off the party's Lok Sabha poll campaign in Kerala, saying the upcoming elections are crucial to defend national ideals like unity and secularism.

    At a special convention held here, Gandhi tried to infuse energy into party functionaries as well as the rank and file for the crucial upcoming electoral battle and urged them to fight to protect “our constitutional ethoes of secularism”.

    Gandhi said the “idea of secular India is under threat by those who don't just seek to rule but to change India's very heart and soul”.

    “We want unity, thy want uniformity. Our idea joins India together, their divides...The choice is between India of all or India of some serving the interest of few,” she added. “You have a choice to build India of 21st century, or an India that is a prisoner to an ideology.”

    Talking about the upcoming General Elections, Gandhi said: “2014 elections isn't about achievements. 2014 is the most important elections because it's about what kind of India you want.”

    Gandhi further attacked Left, questioning what action it took against corruption in West Bengal and Kerala. Commenting on Congress' “principle opponent in Kerala” - CPI(M), Gandhi said the party solves differences only through violence, brutal acts and murders and killing.

    On different support groups within Congress in Kerala, Gandhi said: “To me there is only Congress and that's how we will face this election. The only group is - Congress group and no other group.”

    “I sincerely hope that Kerala will rise to the occassion and protect the basic tenants of Constitution,” she added.

    The convention assumes significance since it is the first major event after VM Sudheeran took over as the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president, replacing Ramesh Chennithala who joined the Oommen Chandy Cabinet as Home Minister last month.

    Though Sudheeran was handpicked by the High Command, overlooking suggestions of Chandy and Chennithala, his elevation has been welcomed largely by the rank and file cutting across factional lines.

    It is evident from the reaction that the rank and file looked at Sudheeran as capable of galvanising the party ahead of the elections as a leader with a clean track record and firm determination.

    Later, Gandhi will address the national meet of INTUC at Kollam in south Kerala, reports PTI.

    In 2009, the Congress contested 17 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state and won 13. Its allies Indian Union Muslim League bagged two seats and the Kerala Congress (Mani) one, taking the UDF tally to 16.

    The remaining four seats were bagged by the CPI(M) while its partner CPI drew a blank.

    Congress is keen to contest all 17 seats this time also.

    But the UDF constituent Socialist Janata Democratic, which broke away from LDF on the eve of last Lok Sabha polls, has staked claim for one seat this time-- Kozhikode or Wayanad, both held by the Congress.

    Similarly, the Kerala Congress (M) is eyeing an additional seat, preferably Idukki, also won by Congress last time.

    Soon after the convention, the Congress would be bilaterally and collectively holding discussions with the partners to settle these issues, sources said.

    Though the BJP is not a force to reckon with in Kerala's bipolar scenario, its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was in the state last week.

    Addressing a big rally here, he blamed the UDF and LDF that have alternated in power as responsible for the problems of the state and said "God's own country" was badly in need of a third alternative led by his party.

    (With PTI inputs)
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    These ploys of secularism, communalism is passé!

    This electoral vote bank game has been seen through since, come election time, such piety is displayed, sops given and with alacrity everything is forgotten in the quest to feather one's own nest.

    Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have become standing jokes, so much so, I believe that the AAP brushed aside Rahul Gandhi as a no contest to AAP as the challenge to Modi!

    It is time they search for new homes since there are good reasons to believe that they will be the losers in the election jamboree!

    And all those feigned security threat will vanish as fast as it was desired with regal disdain!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  11. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Sonia regrets failure to pass women’s quota bill - The Hindu

    The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday regretted that the Women’s Reservation Bill has not been able to be passed in the Lok Sabha for lack of consensus.

    “With the Lok Sabha elections looming large, my greatest regret is that the Women Reservation Bill has not been able to be passed in the Lok Sabha for lack of consensus though it has been approved by the Rajya Sabha”, she said in Kochi.

    Ms. Gandhi made the observation while launching the “Nirbhaya Keralam Surakshita Keralam” (Fearless Kerala, Secure Kerala) programme, a government-civil society initiative to tackle crimes against women and children.

    “It is a matter of deep anguish for all of us that harassment against women continues in many parts of the country. I do not have to remind you of the shameful happenings in Delhi and Mumbai. It is a matter of concern that such happenings are repeated,” Ms. Gandhi said.

    She, however, added that her party would continue its struggle for the legislation which seeks to reserve 33 per cent of seats in Parliament and legislatures for women.

    Noting that the UPA Government had initiated several schemes for welfare of women, she said the government schemes alone would not ensure safety of women. It required awareness campaigns and training young minds from the school level to respect women in all fields.

    “It is a matter of concern that atrocities against women and children are increasing. Government schemes are, of course, essential and are of great importance. What is required is a change in the society’s attitude towards women,” Ms. Gandhi said.

    Pointing that Kerala had been a model for women empowerment, she said social reform movement initiated by Sree Narayana Guru had played a vital role in this area.

    Referring to the new scheme, Ms. Gandhi said, “I am relieved that Kerala is doing something tangible which could be replicated in other States.”

    Increased surveillance and creation of public awareness which form the part of the programme would certainly instil greater confidence in women, she added.

    Lauding the UDF government’s proposal to start six new all-woman police stations, Ms. Gandhi wanted it to raise the presence of women in the State police force from the present five per cent to 25 per cent in the coming years.

    State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the scheme would be implemented with the cooperation of various government departments, NGOs and neighbourhood groups like Kudumbasree and Janashree.

    As part of the scheme, 12,000 women volunteers would make a house-to-house visit across the State to know about the problems faced by women.

    Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Union ministers Vayalar Ravi and K.V. Thomas, State ministers K.M. Mani, P K Kunhalikutty, M.K. Muneer and K. Babu were present on the occasion.
     
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    Congress President Sonia Gandhi addressing during the launch of Congress election campaign in Kerala state, in Kochi on Saturday. (PTI)

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    Congress President Sonia Gandhi during the launch of the party's election campaign in Kerala state, in Kochi on Saturday. Shashi Tharoor, Mukul Wasnik and other leaders are also seen. (PTI)
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Kochi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi receives a memento from Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala during the inauguration of 'Nirbhaya' project for empowerment of women, in Kochi on Saturday. Union minister KV Thomas and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are also seen. PTI Photo (PTI2_15_2014_000125B)
     
  14. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    No matter who is chair person forge the dram of UPA 3:scared2::hail::taunt1:
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Congress President Sonia Gandhi addressing during the launch of Congress election campaign in Kerala state, in Kochi.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I heard on TV.

    She appeared real angered or ,maybe frustrated, so much so her English had pronounced Italian accent.
     
  17. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    The choice is between an India of all and an India of some, says Sonia - The Hindu


    Exhorts Congress leaders in Kerala to end factionalism and unite

    In a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who launched her party’s poll campaign in Kerala on Saturday, said the coming elections were about the “idea of India” where the choice would be between an India of all and an India of some serving the interests of a few.

    The Lok Sabha election, she said at a massive convention in Kochi, was crucial because it was about the kind of India people wanted. “The idea of India is under threat from those who just don’t seek to rule, but to change India’s heart and soul.”

    “We want unity in diversity, they want uniformity. Our idea joins India together, theirs divides,” she said, wondering whether it was good to give up long-cherished values for “lies and untested promises.”

    Launching Nirbhaya Keralam, Surakshitha Keralam project of the State government, the Congress president said her greatest regret was that the Women’s Reservation Bill, though approved by the Rajya Sabha, was not pushed through the Lok Sabha for lack of consensus. The Congress, she said, would continue its efforts to get the law enacted.

    Ms. Gandhi also hit out at the CPI(M), main Opposition in the State, and said the people of Kerala would have to choose between a party that stood for the 21st century and one that had an outdated ideology and did not believe in non-violence. The Congress, she said, always stood for dialogue and consensus, never deviating from its avowed principle of non-violence.

    Impatient with intense factionalism in the State party, Ms. Gandhi, cheered on loudly by about 20,000 workers, called upon Congressmen to forget their “groups” and rise up as one man to fight the coming election. “To me there is no this group or that group. We are all one group.”

    State Congress leaders, including the new PCC (I) president V.M. Sudheeran, also called for unity among workers. Mr. Sudheeran appealed to those who had become inactive due to factional feuds to become active once again and promised them that there would be no discrimination and the deserving would get the respect they deserved.

    Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who has reportedly been sulking following Mr. Sudheeran’s appointment as PCC chief, said he had no difference with him. Explaining his absence at the Naval airport when Ms. Gandhi was on her way to Lakshadweep on Friday, Mr. Chandy said he received the information late and was told by the Congress president’s office that he need not be present at the airport as there was no formal reception.

    The Chief Minister has reportedly told Ms. Gandhi of his unhappiness at the manner in which the high command had gone about appointing Mr. Sudheeran.
     
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    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Shun groupism, Sonia tells party men - The Hindu


    Slams CPI(M) for propagating outdated ideology and following cult of violence

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi has called upon her party workers in Kerala to shun groupism and stand united to fight the coming Lok Sabha election.

    She was addressing a gathering of party leaders and workers at a special convention at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here on Saturday. ‘‘There is no this group or that; we are Congress men and women and that is how we will fight the (coming) electoral battle,” she told party workers amid loud applause.

    She slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its backward looking agenda for the coming elections. She criticised the CPI(M) for propagating outdated ideology and following the cult of violence. While the Congress engaged in discussions with its opponents, the CPI(M) resorted to brutality, she said.

    Ms. Gandhi said she expected the coming Lok Sabha elections to be a repeat of the 2009 elections, though the party expected one more seat than on the previous occasion. She thanked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for his hard work and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, whose nine-year tenure as Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president saw unprecedented gains for the party.

    State leaders of the party, including KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran, called for unity among party workers ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Sudheeran appealed to those who had gone out of the party because of factional feuds to come back and promised that party workers would not be discriminated against and that those who deserved to be honoured would be honoured. Mr. Chandy said the coming Lok Sabha elections would be crucial and the results would decide the future of India’s cherished ideals of secularism.

    In a lighter vein, he complained that he made news even when he did not arrive at a particular party function and pointed to the recent reports that he arrived late at a function during which the new KPCC president assumed charge. He said there were also news items reporting that he was not present to receive Ms. Gandhi on her arrival.
    Chandy consoled

    Ms. Gandhi consoled Mr. Chandy, who was aggrieved over the appointment of Mr. Sudheeran as new KPCC president without consulting him, by saying that the step was in the right direction and it was aimed at strengthening the party in the State.

    According to highly placed party sources, Ms. Sonia conveyed the message to Mr. Chandy when he called on her at the Periyar Guest House at Naval Base here after the Congress meeting.
     
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