Bajwa meets Rahul, gets battle-ready with 10 rallies
The rally war in the Punjab Congress is set to intensify with state party chief Partap Singh Bajwa planning to outnumber the rallies by former chief minister and Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh.
Bajwa on Wednesday met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to apprise him of his programme. Amid reports of a change of guard in Punjab, the meeting also signifies that Bajwa still enjoys Rahul's support and has his backing for his mass contact programme.
Both Amarinder and Bajwa will launch their second phase of Punjab tour in the first week of August.
In the first phase, the two leaders had kicked off their mass contact programmes in contrasting styles. Bajwa began his tour to cover 34 reserved seats in the first week of June, comprising village meetings, six rallies and a few public meetings.
Amarinder launched his programme to take on Bajwa from July 1 and held eight rallies covering Majha and Doaba regions besides lunch, dinner and tea meetings with party leaders and workers.
In the second round, Bajwa plans to hold 10 rallies in August-September starting from Nihal Singh Wala in Moga in the first week of August. Amarinder will hold seven rallies in the second phase -- the first at Rampura Phul on August 8 and one at Khemkaran on September 9 before heading off to the US, Canada and the UK for wooing the Punjabi diaspora.
The rally politics has widened the fissures in the party with the Amarinder camp making it a show of strength by getting the support of a majority of sitting and former MLAs to make his programmes a success while Bajwa has been struggling to muster partymen and crowds.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab, Shakeel Ahmed, said Rahul met state presidents and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders of both Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday.
"We apprised Rahul of the political situation in Punjab, including attack on the Shiromani Akali Dal delegation in the US," he said.
On whether the parallel rallies of the two leaders came up for discussion, Ahmed said Rahul is aware of their ongoing programmes.
The High Court of Karnataka has directed petitioners challenging the ward delimitation of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to get clarity from the Supreme Court over postponing the elections. Seven different public interest litigations (PILs) are challenging the delimitation exercise carried out in 243 wards of the city's civic agency. The HC therefore directed the petitioners to clarify this from the Supreme Court itself.
A LeT 'commander' from Pakistan succumbed to his injuries and a constable injured when the former snatched rifle from the latter and fired at a police party during the recovery of hidden weapons along the Indo-Pak international border in the Arnia sector of Jammu district late Wednesday, said officials. The deceased terrorist was a commander of terror group LeT, alias Qasim, alias Jehangir of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Hussain.
Five members of a family and their employer were found dead in two houses in Tawi Vihar locality in Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu city late on Tuesday, police officials said on Wednesday, adding that they suspect the deaths to have been caused by poisoning. The police received a call from the sister of one of the deceased, who said that her brother was not responding to calls, Jammu SSP Chandan Kohli said.
A day after Congress appointed former two-time legislator Vikar Rasool Wani its J&K chief, there is indignation within the party as many leaders have termed the decision unfortunate. The Congress on Tuesday appointed Wani as its Jammu and Kashmir chief and senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad the head of the campaign committee. However, Azad who is the senior-most member of the party, refused to be a part of the campaign committee.
The top Kashmiri political leaders on Wednesday said that allowing non-locals to vote in the upcoming elections in J&K will be disastrous and will tilt the balance in favour of the BJP. Peoples Conference chairman and former minister Sajjad Lone said that allowing non-locals to vote in assembly elections will be as disastrous as 1987 rigging. The real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” MupDP president Mehbooba Muftiweeted.