Today's Big Stories
Sonia Gandhi to chair meeting of party top brass today; 'RSS-like' heads and mega Gandhi festival on agenda
For the first time since taking over as the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi will meet all General Secretaries and office bearers today. According to reports, the leaders are likely to discuss a training programme, as per which the party will appoint “preraks” or motivators across states to scale-up its mass contact programme. The meeting will also focus on the 150th Gandhi Jayanti celebrations.
Meanwhile, in what is indicative of an internal rift in the Rajasthan Congress, deputy chief minister and senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Wednesday criticised the law and order situation in the state and said that the government needs to do more. Madhya Pradesh Congress has also been embroiled in a crisis following the feud between Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh. According to reports, Scindia is in the race to become the chief and Singh has been opposing him. Sonia Gandhi had met Scindia and CM Kamal Nath on Tuesday where the issue is likely to have been discussed.
'Concerned' UN chief wants India & Pak to resolve Kashmir issue through dialogue
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has had contacts with the leadership in India and Pakistan, remains very concerned about any potential escalation between the two countries over Kashmir and appealed to both sides to deal with the issue through dialogue. Guterres across several of his public and private interactions with the representatives of the two countries has maintained this stance, the UN secretary general’s spokesperson Dujarric disclosed. The General Secretary's recent comments came as India and Pakistan clashed at the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva over the Kashmir issue
In Other News
‘Fine life’: Minister for Road, Transport, and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that he has no problem with States reducing the traffic fines. His assurance came a day after Gujarat Government announced a reduction in the fines under the new Motor Vehicles Act.
Ahead of polls: Days after openly expressing his frustration over the lack of clarity in connection with the Indapur seat in Pune district, senior Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil on Wednesday switched over to the BJP. His close aide Ganesh Naik also jumped ship to the saffron party.
Striking terror in hearts: Before being gunned down by security forces on Wednesday, Asif Maqbool Bhat had become synonymous with “terror” in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore district. The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) jihadist last week allegedly attacked the house of a fruit trader, injuring three people, including a little girl.
'Harder than ever': Remembering the victims of the 9/11 attack, United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to hit the Taliban "harder than ever", just days after he cancelled peace talks with the militants in Afghanistan, where the terrorist group al-Qaida conceived the deadly strike.
On Our Specials
Puja and politics: Dhaks and pandals – any Bengalis worth their salt can identify with these two elements that spell only one thing for the state – Pujo, or Puja for the uninitiated. However, the last few years have seen many Bengal residents march to the beat of a different drummer with a number of previously less renowned Hindu festivals growing in popularity and pomp. Rakhi Bose looks at the reason behind the surge in the number of Ram Navami and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and the likely politics at play.
Age-old rivalry: The ‘march to Athmakur’ has resulted in a face-off between the Naidus and the Reddys in Andhra Pradesh once again. The Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which seems to have recovered from the most humiliating defeat in the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, has taken the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy head-on, alleging large-scale and systematic harassment of its cadre by the government. DP Satish in the piece outlines the events marking the 33-year-old rivalry between the two leaders.