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6-min read

News18 Daybreak | Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Takes The Political Plunge and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:January 24, 2019, 9:27 AM IST

What to Watch Out For

Priyanka Gandhi’s entry and ‘Mission 30’, Congress’ plan for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections

After years of speculation, Priyanka Gandhi has finally taken the plunge into active party politics as Congress appointed her as the poll-in-charge for Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka will be directly up against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister CM and BJP star campaigner Yogi Adityanath.

Surprise move: Congress’ trump card comes only days after the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party announced their alliance in a move seen as a snub to the national party. Congress’ previous ally in state, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, also broke ties with the party to join the BSP-SP alliance.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had at the time said that the party will be fight alone for the 80 parliamentary seats in the state and that he had a surprise in store.

He said, She said: A flood of reactions followed the news of Priyanka’s appointment, with several Congress leaders supporting the decision. Delhi Congress chief Shiela Dikshit said that the move “will pose a great threat to the opposition”.

Meanwhile, many BJP leaders took digs at the Congress strategy saying that it was triggered by Rahul Gandhi’s “failure”. BJP UP in-charge JP Nadda even accused the party of “dynasty politics”.

Other Poll Plans: The Congress has chalked out a core strategy - ‘Mission 30’ for the upcoming polls, in which it will galvanise campaigning around the seats where it had secured above or near 1 lakh in the 2014 elections.

In another defining move, the party announced Jyotiraditya Scindia as the party-in-charge for the campaigning in Western UP.

Additionally, the Congress president said that he would still be willing to hold talks with Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati despite the BJP-SP alliance snub.

Piyush Goyal given Finance Minister few days ahead of Budget, Centre expected to woo electorate for one last time with pre-election measures

Almost a week ahead of the Budget, the BJP-led government announced the appointment of Piyush Goyal as the interim Finance Minister while Arun Jaitley remains away for medical treatment. This will be Goyal’s second stint as Finance Minister and it is likely that he will be presenting the budget, being touted as the BJP-led government’s last attempt to woo the electorate.

In depth: The government is expected to announce several pre-election measures in this year’s budget including a Universal Basic Transfer Income and universal income transfer scheme for farmers. The Centre is also mulling over an increase in tax exemption limit from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh a year.

Take Note: The Centre has already exceeded the annual budget deficit target and has little room for spending in the current year, having forgone some tax revenue on goods and services following the three election defeats in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

New CBI Director to be selected today, while Rakesh Asthana and interim director Nageswar Rao appointment’s face petition challenge

A high-powered selection committee will meet today to select the new CBI Director after the panel ousted Alok Verma from the job earlier this month. On Monday, the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, had recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI director as he is slated to be a part of today’s selection committee. The plea that had been filed by NGO Common Cause contested the appointment saying that it was "illegal, arbitrary, mala fide and in violation of the Delhi Police Special Establishment (DPSE) Act".

Meanwhile, another petition has been submitted against the appointment of former deputy Rakesh Asthana as Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

The crisis in the CBI ranks began when Alok Verma accused Rakesh Asthana of accepting bribes from Hyderabad-based businessman Moin Qureshi. Asthana then raised counter-charges against Verma on the same grounds.

Day Two of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Amethi while Smriti Irani replaces ailing BJP chief Amit Shah in Bengal meetings

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi ahead of the upcoming elections. Wednesday saw Gandhi renewing his attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale aircraft deal in his meetings around several villages.

On day two of the visit, Gandhi is expected to meet people at the Bhuaemau guest house where Sonia Gandhi is also put up, after which he will attend programmes in various villages. Meanwhile, BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani will be replacing the unwell BJP president Amit Shah at the rallies in West Bengal’s Nadia and South 24 Parganas today.

Congress-JDS(U) coordination committee to meet today, Lok Sabha seat sharing expected to be in the list of agendas

The Congress-Janata Dal Secular (United) coordination committee meeting is set to take place in Bengaluru at 5pm on Thursday. The meeting is likely to initiate a discussing on the sharing of seats between the coalition partners for the upcoming elections, sources have told CNN News18. The meeting will take place against the backdrop of a political crisis stirred by allegations of poaching attempts by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state.

File photo of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.

ISRO to launch India’s first ever student-made satellite and DRDO’s imaging satellite today

ISRO will launch India’s first ever student-made satellite – the KALAMSAT and DRDO's Microsat R imaging satellite today. The satellites will be carried by a new variant of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket and the launch will take place at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

What You May Have Missed

Nine arrested by Maharashtra ATS for alleged ISIS links, large quantities of chemical seized

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Wednesday arrested nine people including a 17-year old for their alleged links with the banned terror outfit ISIS. The ATS had earlier found out about the formation of a new terror outfit by the name of Ummat EMohammadiya. The suspects were then nabbed in a two-day bust that took place in Thane’s Mumbra district and Aurangabad district. ATS officer’s suspect that the large quantities of chemicals seized from the suspects were to be used for a chemical attack on public gatherings.

Congress decides to go solo in Andhra Pradesh for 2019 polls, dashing expectations of TDP alliance

Andhra Pradesh- in-charge Oommen Chandy on Wednesday confirmed that the Congress will contest alone in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, dashing all expectations of a tie-up with the ruling Telugu Desam Party. "The TDP allied with us only at the national level, so we will have no truck (with it) in the state,” he said and confirmed that the party will be contesting for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu during a meeting, in New Delhi (File photo: PTI)

Railways to become first government department to provide jobs under 10% EWS quota

Railways is set to become the first government department to implement the 10 per cent quota for the general category poor. In a press conference, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the railways plans to provide around 4 lakh jobs in the next two years of which 23,000 will be given under the EWS quota. The first phase of fresh recruitment of 1,31,328 posts shall be initiated in the month of February-March, 2019. The EWS quota which was recently passed in the Parliament accords 10% reservation to the economically weaker sections in the general category.

Talk show host Karan Johar speaks out on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul controversy, takes responsibility

Karan Johar has finally spoke out on Hardik Pandya & KL Rahul's controversial appearance on his talk show. "I have to say that I feel very responsible because it was my show, it was my platform. I invited them as guests and so the ramifications and repercussion of the show are my responsibility,” ET now quoted him as saying. Cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were suspended by BCCI following outrage over the ‘sexist’ and ‘misogynist’ comments made on Johar’s talk show.

On Reel

The formal entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, into politics has finally ended years of speculation about her future. Watch News18.com’s video on what her entry means for the party ahead of the upcoming 2019 polls.

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