Rahul gets some advice
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s interaction on Saturday with journalists of the regional media took an amusing turn when a scribe from Karnataka began advising him on how to be a “strong” leader. Ignoring repeated reminders that the issue to discuss was the government’s economic package, announced to deal with the economic and humanitarian crisis in the wake of Covid-19, the journalist started talking about Gandhi's grandmother Indira Gandhi, who had won a bypoll in Karnataka, and mother Sonia Gandhi, who too was victorious in a seat in the state during the Lok Sabha election two decades later. As an embarrassed Gandhi listened, the journalist told him how he could strengthen his party in the southern state. The journalist had to be cut short after polite requests failed to dissuade him. The episode ended when Gandhi told him he had noted his suggestions.
UP CM’s popularity soars
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister is a hit among migrants, especially from Bihar. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs in Bihar say Adityanath's popularity soared after he took the initiative to help migrants who reached his state from Delhi by dropping them off at the Bihar border. The CM followed it up by sending buses to bring back stranded students in Rajasthan's Kota and made sure those from Bihar were also picked up and dropped off at the state border. Then, taking cognisance of reports of ill-treatment of migrants, he issued instructions to the state administration that they be treated with empathy and respect, and ordered action against a few guilty employees. Now, UP Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi has also directed cops to help migrant workers returning home by foot or on bicycles.
Ready for a tough fight
Kamal Nath, Congress leader and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, is confident the Congress will return to power after the coming Assembly by-elections. If Congress sources are to be believed, at least two sitting and eight former MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are in touch with the grand old party. The former BJP MLAs are from those seats where the by-elections are scheduled to take place. The by-polls became necessary after 22 Congress MLAs defected to the BJP and resigned from the Assembly. Now they will contest from the same constituencies as they did in late 2018, but as BJP candidates. However, disgruntlement among senior BJP leaders in those areas is mounting. Among them are Gauri Shankar Shejwar, Jaibhan Singh Pawaiyya, and Rajesh Sonkar. On its part, the Congress is trying to woo them.