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Delhi confidential: Major Attraction

Siddhu, who has in the past hosted laughter challenge shows on television, brought the plenary alive with his style of speech.

Navjot Singh Sidhu touches former Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s feet in New Delhi Sunday. Neeraj Priyadarshi Navjot Singh Sidhu touches former Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s feet in New Delhi Sunday. Neeraj Priyadarshi

FORMER CRICKETER and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Siddhu turned out to be one of the biggest cheering factors during the Congress plenary deliberations. Siddhu, who has in the past hosted laughter challenge shows on television, brought the plenary alive with his style of speech. At one point, Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Ashok Gehlot were seen egging on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to laugh at one of Siddhu’s comments on him. While he took a public vow to do everything to see Rahul Gandhi hoisting the Tricolour on the ramparts of Red Fort, he credited Priyanka Gandhi for his “ghar wapsi”, given that his parents were Congress leaders.

Worry on Wings

FOR ORGANISERS of the Congress plenary at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, the biggest worry appeared to be mosquitoes. According to a senior Congress leader, the party was charged about Rs 8,00,000 per day for the stadium, but the authorities could not effectively contain the menace despite the party’s complaints. On Saturday, the leaders and delegates at the plenary spent quite some time to keep off the mosquitoes. The premises were fogged more than twice during the night and Sunday morning, party leaders said, but it yielded no result. On Sunday, former party chief Sonia Gandhi appeared irritated with the mosquitoes flying around her.

Course Correction

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ADHERING TO its custom, a condolence resolution to mark their respect to departed party leaders was moved by Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik at the very beginning of the opening session of the party plenary on Saturday. The participants also observed moments of silence in memory of the departed leaders. Wasnik, however, appeared to have missed some prominent leaders who passed away since their last plenary in 2013. In particular, Wasnik had to read out three names — former union ministers Murli Deora, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and former Karnataka chief minister Dharam Singh — later after this lapse was noticed.

First published on: 19-03-2018 at 03:28:57 am
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