October 12, 2020 4:18:56 am
As the Bihar election campaign begins, the state Congress unit wants party leader Rahul Gandhi to address as many as eight poll rallies. The state unit has made this request to Rahul — the places and dates have not been specified. The RJD, it is learnt, has also reached out to Rahul, proposing that he address a couple of joint rallies with the Opposition alliance’s CM face Tejashwi Yadav. Rahul is yet to take a final call on his campaign schedule but Congress leaders said he will hit the trail after October 20. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to address any physical rallies.
A group of Left MPs — among them CPM’s Elamaram Kareem and CPI’s Binoy Viswam — left for Hathras on a fact-finding mission on Sunday. But before they could reach the Delhi-UP border, they got a call from the Hathras district administration, informing them that the gangrape victim’s family is being taken to Lucknow for a court appearance. The MPs, who had informed the district administration about their plan since they wanted to meet district officials too, cancelled their visit. Viswam claimed the MPs later got to know that they were given false information by the district administration as the family is scheduled to leave for Lucknow on Tuesday. He alleged the district administration used the court appearance as an excuse to scuttle their visit.
The BJP has come out with its list of star campaigners for the Bihar election. While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is on the list, his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan is missing. Chouhan is fighting his own battle in the state where bypolls to 28 Assembly segments are scheduled on November 3. The bypolls are a do or die affair for Chouhan. All eyes are also on whether Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP with his loyalist MLAs, leading to the fall of the Kamal Nath government, will be inducted into the Central government before the bypolls. The speculation is that his induction, if it is done, before the bypolls may suggest that the BJP is in a tight spot.
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