Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (pictured) is on a "meditational visit" abroad and is likely to return shortly, party sources said on Wednesday. Responding to speculation on the former Congress president's absence was Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. Sources in the party added that Gandhi is possibly in Indonesia and will be back home soon. Surjewala said the party's 10-day agitation was formalised at a meeting in which Gandhi participated but neither he nor Sonia Gandhi would be participating in the state and district-level programmes. The Congress has planned a country-wide agitation from November 5 to 15 to highlight the issues of economic slowdown, farm distress, rising unemployment and job losses and the consequences of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement. "This entire programme was drafted as per his direction and in consultation with him (Rahul Gandhi). He guided the party on to the various steps and issues that were to be taken," Surjewala said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has realised the importance of having a 360-degree media team for cultivating a positive image of his government ahead of the crucial 2022 elections. Recently, the state dispensation had appointed four senior cabinet ministers as official spokespersons of the government to the existing league of two ministers, thus increasing the bench strength to six. Now, the state has appointed two senior journalists as media advisors to the state information department. Each scribe will be mandated to cater to the print and electronic media respectively. Interestingly, the CM already has a long standing media advisor, who was appointed soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party had come to power in March 2017.
Power dynamics in MP
After winning the Jhabua Assembly by-elections, Kantilal Bhuria of the Congress party has emerged as the fourth power centre in Madhya Pradesh after Chief Minister Kamal Nath, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and party General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia. So much so that talks have already started floating over him being made the next PCC chief, a post that is currently held by Nath himself. Until now, Scindia was a front runner for the coveted post. However, PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma has voiced his demand for the appointment of Bhuria as the PCC chief. "After 15 years, there is a Congress government in the state. We have 31 MLAs from the tribal reserved seats. Kantilal Bhuria is a big name. He has previously been PCC chief for three years," said Verma.