BJP welcomes Ajay Maken

BJP MP Welcomes Maken Quitting As Cong Rajasthan Incharge

A day after senior Congress leader and former Union minister Ajay Maken stepped down as the party’s Rajasthan in-charge, BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena welcomed his decision and said he would have been stuck between two raging bulls had he remained in the post.

Maken’s move came amid a continuing and bitter tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
The tussle came to a head again in the lead-up to the polls to elect the Congress national president, as Gehlot, who has initially seen a frontrunner for the post, pulled out in the face of a rebellion by his loyalist MLAs who wanted him to continue as CM.

Maken had earlier written to octogenarian Dalit leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was recently elected the party’s first non-Gandhi national president in 24 years, expressing his unwillingness to continue in his post as the Congress’ Rajasthan in-charge.

Speaking to ANI after presiding over a function in Dausa, Meena said, “If Maken hadn’t taken this step, he would have been stuck in the fight between two raging bulls.”

The BJP Rajya Sabha MP added that with the next Assembly elections in the state not too far away, the infighting in the party (between Gehlot and Pilot) will only get more intense in the coming days. (ANI)

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Ajay Maken Rajasthan

Rajasthan: Maken’s Unwillingness To Continue As Incharge Of State

The crisis that began in the Rajasthan Congress on September 25 this year has taken a new turn. Now the annoyed general secretary in charge of the state Ajay Maken has expressed his unwillingness to continue in his post.

In a letter to party president Mallikarjun Kharge, Ajay Maken stated that he does not want to continue in his post after the events of September 25.
In his letter dated November 8, Maken said that a new person should be given the responsibility before the Bharat Jodo Yatra enters the state and state assembly by-elections are held.

“I am a soldier of Rahul Gandhi. My family has decades of association with the party,” he wrote.

On September 25, on the instructions of the then President Sonia Gandhi, Maken and Kharge went to Jaipur as observers. Then there was a buzz of Ashok Gehlot contesting the election of the Congress President. So, a meeting of the Legislature Party was to be held for the selection of the new Chief Minister, but a rebellious tone was adopted by the Gehlot supporters who opposed the candidature of Sachin Pilot. The meeting could not take place. The high command was miffed with the development in the crisis-hit state.

After this, show-cause notices were issued to three leaders. But even after a long time, no action was taken. Even after Gehlot apologized to Sonia Gandhi, organization general secretary KC Venugopal had said that a decision on Rajasthan Congress will be taken in the next two days. Still, the meeting of the Legislature Party could not be held again.

According to sources, miffed with all the developments, Maken decided to quit the post.

According to sources, the high command is unhappy with the behaviour of Gehlot’s supporters, but Gehlot is currently the chief observer of the Gujarat elections. At the same time, he does not want to pose a risk to the Rajasthan government at this time.

In such a situation, the ball is in the court of the same Kharge who himself is the witness to the whole incident.

It is believed that the Rajasthan crisis will be the first major test of Kharge’s organizational skills. Now they have to decide how to persuade Gehlot to hand over the command to Sachin or maintain Gehlot by taking care of Sachin. On the other hand, he also faces the challenge of solving the case of ‘indiscipline’ that took place on September 25.

To add to Kharge’s troubles, Gehlot’s grip on the MLAs in Rajasthan has also been reported by party sources to Kharge that, in the recent assembly elections, Sachin Pilot is the most in-demand leader after the Gandhi family. He is also engaged in campaigning in all the states. Along with this, he is also going to meet Rahul once again by joining the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra. (ANI)

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Sachin Pilot Targets Modi-Gehlot Chemistry, Draws Parallels With GN Azad

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praise on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot termed it as a “very interesting” development that “should not be taken lightly.”

“The PM had similarly praised Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament. We saw what happened after that,” Pilot said.
Talking to reporters here, Pilot said, “We all witnessed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s praises during his visit to the Mangarh Dham, We all have seen similar things, earlier in the Rajya Sabha as well when the PM heaped praises on former Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad on his farewell day. Everybody knows what happened after that. It is an interesting development yesterday and should not be taken lightly.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited Mangarh Dham in Rajasthan and shared the dias with Gehlot at the event “…When PM Modi goes abroad, he receives great honor. Because he is PM of the nation of Gandhi, where democracy is deep-rooted. When the world realizes this, they feel proud that the PM of that country is coming to them…,” Gehlot said.

Addressing the event, PM Modi recalled his days as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. “Ashok ji (Gehlot) and I had worked together as CMs. He was the most senior in our lot of CMs. Ashok ji is still one of the senior-most CMs among those who are sitting on the stage right now,” he said.

Meanwhile talking to reporters here today, Pilot also said that the time has now arrived “to take action against indiscipline” and sought action against errant MLAs of Rajasthan.

The pilot said MLAs who have been served notices should be told to file their replies. “Congress is an old party… I request the new president to take action against indiscipline,” he said.

“As far as Rajasthan is concerned, a CLP meeting called on September 25 couldn’t be held. AICC considered it a matter of indiscipline…Rules same for all. So, if indiscipline occurred and replies were given, action should be taken. I believe party chief Mallikarjun Kharge will take a decision soon,” Pilot said.

In the run-up to the nomination for Congress president election, Gehlot was forced to bow out of the process after Congress MLAs supporting Gehlot did not attend a Congress Legislature Party meeting on September 25. (ANI)

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Madrasa Survey in UP

Rajasthan Govt To Build Smart Classrooms In Madrasas, Multiple Crores Approved

The Rajasthan government has announced to connect 500 madrasas in the state with a digital mode of education by building smart classrooms, according to an official notification on Wednesday.

The government has also approved an amount of Rs 13.10 crore for the purpose.
The modernization of education in madrasas will take place in a phased manner, which is in accordance with the announcement in the budget 2022-23. The Ashok Gehlot-led government had announced to provide smart classrooms with internet facilities in registered madrasas in a phased manner. Under this, 500 madrasas will be upgraded in the coming year in the first phase.

The students studying in the 500 madrasas which are registered by the Rajasthan Madarsa Board, and are selected in the first phase will now get education through a smart board instead of the blackboard. An amount of Rs 2.62 lakh will be invested per madrasa, according to the notification.

Besides the madrasas, the government will also set up digital libraries in 344 residential schools in the state. Gehlot government approved an amount of Rs 36.56 crore for the purpose.

“The state government has started connecting madrasas of the state with modern technology. Now for better education in madrasas, various facilities like smart classrooms will be made available to them. Here students will now get education through smart board instead of blackboard,” Gehlot tweeted.

“For this, an additional budget of Rs 13.10 crore has been approved. For setting up of smart classrooms in 500 madrassas out of the madrassas registered by the Rajasthan Madarsa Board, Rs 2.62 lakh will be spent per madrassa. It is noteworthy that in the budget year 2022-23, it was announced to provide smart classrooms with internet facilities in registered madrasas in a phased manner. Under this, 500 madrasas will be upgraded in the coming year in the first phase,” he added. (ANI)

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Kharge Officially Takes Charge As Cong Prez

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday officially took charge as the party president at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in the national capital.

Congress Central Election Authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry handed over the certificate of election to the top post.
“I hope other parties draw a lesson from the Congress and hold polls for the presidency by secret ballot,” said Mistry.

Former party president Sonia Gandhi, MP Rahul Gandhi, and the party’s General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with other senior leaders and MPs were present at the occasion.

Ahead of the event at the Congress headquarters today, Kharge met former prime minister Manmohan Singh at his home yesterday. This morning, he paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial, Rajghat. He also visited memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi, besides former deputy PM Jagjivan Ram.

Kharge, who was elected the first Congress chief outside the Nehru-Gandhi family in 24 years, has his task cut out as the party faces several electoral and organizational challenges.

A man of vast organizational and administrative experience, Kharge entered the electoral fray for the party’s top post after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted against contesting.

Kharge, 80, was seen as the “establishment’s candidate” against Shashi Tharoor and polled 7,897 votes against 1072 received by his rival.

A leader who has risen from the grassroots, Kharge belongs to the Dalit community and will be the second leader from Karnataka to hold the top party post after S Nijalingappa became the Congress president in 1968.

In over five decades of experience in active politics, Kharge has been a union minister, and Congress leader in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and has held several portfolios in Karnataka where he was MLA nine times.

A combative, articulate, and accessible politician who is comfortable both in Hindi and English, Kharge has been a strong critic of the BJP-led government.

He faces major challenges to work out strategies in terms of Congress revival in the Hindi heartland states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as also in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The Congress has seen an erosion in its base in some other states including in the northeast. AAP is also seeking to emerge as a challenger in some states.

While Kharge’s immediate challenges are the assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat which will go the polls later this year, several other states including his home state Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan will go the polls next year before the crucial battle in the 2024 general election.

Many senior party leaders have left Congress in recent months and years and the Congress debacle in Punjab and Uttarakhand assembly polls earlier this year has been blamed on the choices party leadership made in these states.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is on Bharat Jodo Yatra, indicated that Kharge will decide his role.

Kharge will take over as party chief from Sonia Gandhi, who was serving as interim chief after Rahul Gandhi stepped down following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Sonia Gandhi had earlier steered the party for 19 years and played a pivotal role in the formation of two UPA governments.

A former union minister of Labour and Railways, Kharge resigned as Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha to contest the presidential polls in accordance with the one person, one post norm.

Born on July 21, 1942, Kharge was active in student politics and was general secretary 1964-65 of the Students Union in Government Arts and Science College in Gulbarga.

He was vice president of the Students Union Law College, Gulbarga, in 1966-67 and became president of the Gulbarga City Congress Committee in 1969.

Kharge served as MLA in Karnataka nine times between 1972 and 2009 and held several portfolios as minister including education, revenue, rural development, and large and medium industry, transport, and water resources.

He was president of the Karnataka Congress from 2005 to 2008 and also served as Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly from 1996-99 and from 2008-09.

He was elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 and elected to Rajya Sabha in 2020. As Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, he raised various issues vociferously.

Kharge was seen as a top contender for the CM post in Karnataka several times but never got the role. Kharge did not protest and continued to work as a disciplined party worker.

Congress leaders said Kharge will be the second Dalit president in the party’s long history.

Kharge is credited with several initiatives in his ministerial tenures. As Union Minister, he revamped the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, extended insurance and benefits for workers in both organized and unorganized sectors, and ESIC hospitals throughout the country were modernized.

As Railway Minister, he gave emphasis on funding projects in the northeastern states in the railway budget and initiated reforms such as the creation of the Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority.

With Kharge’s election as the new party chief, the Congress will seek to blunt the BJP’s attack on it over “family-oriented politics”. (ANI)

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Delhi AQI

New Delhi: Air quality Remains Very Poor, Overall AQI Of 323

On Diwali evening, the air quality in Delhi remained in the “very poor” category with the overall air quality index (AQI) at 323.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the AQI in the overall Delhi region was in the ‘very poor category at 323.
However, in the Delhi University and airport area, the AQI remained in the ‘very poor category at 365 and 354. At Mathura Road, the AQI was in the ‘very poor category at 322. While at Gurugram, the AQI remained in the ‘poor’ category at 342.

In a bid to reduce vehicular pollution, the Delhi government also announced the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign.

Under the campaign, public representatives and officials will motivate commuters to turn their vehicles off at red lights to curb vehicular pollution.

The air quality in the national capital is also affected because of stubble burning in surrounding Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan in the winter. (ANI)

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Reliance Jio Formally Launches 5G Services

Reliance Jio 5G is here. As announced two months back, the telecom operator on Saturday has finally launched the new-age high-speed services in the country.

Reliance Jio Chairman Akash Ambani has launched the services in Rajasthan from the famous Shrinathji temple in Rajsamand.
This year, it aims to launch 5G services in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.

The telecom operator intends to expand its 5G network to each and every town, tehsil, and talukas across the country by December of 2023, Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani said on August 29 while announcing the 5G launch in India.

Earlier this year, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani resigned from the board of Reliance Jio, thereby handing over reigns to his elder son Akash Ambani.

Meanwhile, Jio will deploy the latest version of 5G called standalone 5G. It is estimated to invest Rs 2 lakh crore in 5G infrastructure.

Launched six years ago, Jio has created multiple world records during its rollout of the largest 4G network in the shortest period of time. Jio’s 4G network provides the highest quality, most affordable digital services to over 400 million loyal and delighted customers. Jio is expected to now raise the bar even further with its 5G services.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has acquired spectrum in 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 3300MHz, and 26GHz bands in the recently-concluded 5G auctions conducted by the Department of Telecommunications, where the government received around Rs 1.5 lakh worth of bids. Reliance Jio, Adani group, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea were the four major participants in the spectrum auction.

Following the spectrum auction, the government issued spectrum allocation letters to telecom service providers in mid-August while asking them to prepare for the rollout of 5G services.

The Department of Telecom and the Ministry of Information Technology have been pushing the mobile phone makers and telecom operators for the updation of 5G-related software in the devices and putting in place the requisite infrastructure for faster rollout of the new-age telecom services.

About 5G:

5G is the fifth-generation mobile network capable of transmitting a large set of data at a very rapid speed.

In comparison to 3G and 4G, 5G has a very low latency which will enhance user experiences in various sectors. Low latency describes the efficiency of processing a very high volume of data messages with a minimal delay.

The large-scale 5G rollout is also expected to bring more development in remote data monitoring sectors such as mining, warehousing, telemedicine, and manufacturing, among others. (ANI)

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Appointment Letters To Over 10 Lakh Youth

Appointment Letters To Over 10 Lakh Youth: Ashwani Vaishnav

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav on Saturday said that the Centre will provide appointment letters to more than 10 lakh youth through various ministries in the upcoming few months.

Ashwini Vaishnaw termed it a “big achievement” that PM Modi will give 75,000 appointment letters at 50 places across the country during the Rozgar Mela today.
“In railways alone, various job postings have been made available for projects like station development, laying down of new railway lines, bullet train, and Fred corridor,” Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said during his one day visit to Jaipur today.

The Bullet Train alone has been able to generate as many as 75,000 jobs and the rate of employment generation is increasing regularly, Vaishnav said adding that the project has been benefitting the youth of the country.

He further said that all the railway stations of Rajasthan will be made “world-class” and they are being developed through the Gati Shakti project.

“Eight major railway stations in Rajasthan are being redeveloped as world-class stations and a survey has begun for seven more stations. The design work has been undertaken. All railway stations of the state will be made world-class,” Railway Minister added.

He further underscored that projects worth over Rs 57,000 crore have been sanctioned so far in the country’s largest state and a record allocation of Rs 7,565 crore for this year has also taken place, he said.

The Railway Minister further mentioned that the speed of laying of railway lines has gone up and they are being laid at the pace of 12 kilometers per day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Rojgar Mela’, a recruitment drive for 10 lakh personnel, through video conferencing today.

According to a statement from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), this is a significant step forward toward fulfilling the continuous commitment of the Prime Minister to providing job opportunities for the youth and ensuring the welfare of citizens.

“As per the directions of the Prime Minister, all Ministries and Departments are working towards filling up existing vacancies against sanctioned posts in Mission Mode,” the statement said. The new recruits from across the country will join 38 Ministries/Departments of the Government of India.

“The appointees will join the government at various levels viz Group – A, Group – B (Gazetted), Group – B (Non-Gazetted) and Group – C. The posts on which appointments are being made include Central Armed Force Personnel, Sub Inspector, Constable, LDC, Steno, PA, Income Tax Inspectors, MTS, among others,” the PMO statement said.

These recruitments are being done in mission mode by Ministries and Departments either by themselves or through recruiting agencies such as UPSC, SSC, and Railway Recruitment Board. (ANI)

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Revival Of Cong Has Begun

Revival Of Cong Has Begun: Tharoor; Kharge: Together We Will Build Party

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who is pitted against party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of the Congress president on Monday, said the revival of the grand old party has begun whatever the outcome and that the fate of the Indian National Congress lies in the hands of the party workers.

Voting for the Congress presidential polls commenced at 10 am today and will culminate at 4 pm. Results will be declared on October 19. The fate of the Congress party will be decided by over 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates who comprise the electoral college for electing the party chief.
Tharoor said that he was confident of winning the election but acknowledged the odds stacked against him

“I am confident. The fate of the Congress party is in the hands of party workers. The odds have been stacked against us as the party leaders and establishment were overwhelming with the other candidate,” Tharoor told media persons at Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram today.

Tharoor also said he had spoken to Kharge earlier in the day

“Today I spoke to Mr. Kharge and said whatever has happened, we remain colleagues and friends,” Tharoor said.

Kharge also told ANI today: “It is part of our internal election. Whatever we said to each other is on a friendly note. Together we have to build the party. (Shashi) Tharoor telephoned me and wished me luck and I also said the same.”

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said that Congress was the only political party to hold elections for its president.

“This is a historic day. Rahul Gandhi will cast his vote in Ballari during Bharat Jodo Yatra. Party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi is expected to cast her vote around 11 am,” he told ANI.

Tharoor took to Twitter and said that they shared “devotion to the success of the Congress”.

Previously, Tharoor had said that if one just “plays safe”, they lose.

He tweeted, “Some people play safe in order not to lose. But if you just play safe, you will definitely lose.”

On Thursday, Tharoor alleged that he has been facing differential treatment from the party leaders as against his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge.

In the previous week, Tharoor had said he could act as a catalyst of change for the grand old party in order to revive the party’s presence in the country.

Meanwhile, Congress veteran leader and party’s presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge had said that his name was not suggested by the party supremo Sonia Gandhi and dismissed the speculations of receiving support from the party’s interim president.

Kharge said that Sonia Gandhi had never suggested his name for the party president position and called it a rumor.

Kharge further said that members of the party have elected delegates which are 9,300 in number, who will vote for the candidate and the one with the majority would be elected.

With the party, all set to elect its new president, the 75 delegates, including interim chief Sonia Gandhi, General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and other members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and senior leaders will cast their vote in the headquarters of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in New Delhi.

Apart from these, 280 other delegates will also cast their vote in the Delhi Congress office, the sources added.

The delegates who obtained prior permission from the Central Election Authority to cast their vote will vote in Delhi instead of their own state today.

It is not the first time that a non-Gandhi leader is contesting for the party presidency post-Independence, Jitendra Prasad contested for the post of the president about 22 years ago against Sonia Gandhi in which she emerged as a winner holding the mantle of the party for 20 years.

Sonia Gandhi is the longest-serving president of the party, having held the office for over twenty years from 1998 to 2017 and since 2019.

This time no member of the Gandhi family is contesting for the post of President.

This is the sixth time in its nearly 137-year-old history that polls are being conducted to elect the national president of the party. In the 2017 elections, Rahul Gandhi became the president unopposed. (ANI)

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Kharge Cong Prez

We Are Brothers No Differences Between Us: Kharge

Reacting to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s “uneven playing field” remark, senior leader and party presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said that there are no differences between them.

“…We are brothers. Someone can speak in a different manner. I can do it in a different way. There are no differences between us… Shashi Tharoor and I are from the same family that is Congress, instead of complaining to each other we would rather complain to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah regarding inflation, unemployment, and other issues” said Kharge on Tharoor’s uneven playing field remark.
He further alleged that dragging the Gandhi family’s name in this poll is BJP’s conspiracy to defame them and some people are encouraging it.

“I am a candidate of delegates. Leaders-delegates together fielded me as a candidate…dragging the Gandhi family’s name, I feel, is BJP’s conspiracy to defame them and some people are encouraging it. I condemn this. They said anybody can contest,” he added.

Notably, Shashi Tharoor and Mallikarjun Kharge are up against each other in the race for the post of Congress President.

The election for the Congress’s top leadership is slated to conclude on October 17.

The Congress leader further said that he believes in democracy and it is not good to talk about winning the elections ahead of it.

“I am contesting for the presidential post, delegates are supposed to vote and whoever they will choose will be the next president of Congress party. I believe in democracy and it is not good to talk about winning the elections ahead of it. However, delegations from all the states have put their trust in me,” he said.

He said that everybody has different manifestos ahead of elections if elected his focus will be on protecting the Congress’s ideology and Udaipur declaration

“Another focus will be on increasing women representation, backward class, and minorities in the party,” he added.

Bharat Jodo Yatra is being done to keep the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s ideology and constitution alive which is being hampered by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Earlier, Tharoor said he has been facing differential treatment from the party leaders as against his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge.

On his “uneven playing field” remark, Congress presidential candidate Tharoor said, “…In several PCCs, leaders welcomed and met Kharge Sahab. The same was not done for me. I visited PCCs but PCC chiefs were not available. I am not complaining, but do you not see a difference in treatment?”

He said his party men should vote for him only if they are seeking a change in Congress.

With the Gandhis not running for the top post, the grand old party is all set to get a non-Gandhi president after over 25 years. (ANI)

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